Thursday, October 1, 2009

Twelfth of Twelve

I had so many ideas for this piece—too many really. I couldn't settle on one for a long time. One of my ideas was to show a glass slipper lying on pavement, next to a pumpkin. Would you have understood that one? It would represent the events of TWELVE o'clock, midnight, in the story of Cinderella when she dashed away, losing one of her slippers and her coach turned back into a pumpkin. My enthusiasm for that idea faded as I pictured what my piece might look like—a child's book illustration that we have all seen all too many times. I really did like the idea of a dozen eggs in a big bowl, all in pale egg-y hues. Maybe I'll do that someday. I thought of a clock face with the numbers 1 to 12 and that led me to my final plan.

A number of years ago I made a series of quilts with mandala themes. Classic Tibetan mandala designs are circles that are typically divided into 8 segments, but for reasons I don't even know, I created all my mandala designs, starting with a circle divided into 12 segments. Here is one of those quilts, called Earth, Moon and Sun. It was published in a book of mandala quilts called Within Sacred Circles.

When I remembered this, I also remembered that I learned that mandalas symbolize wholeness. This twelfth quilt, in a series of twelve would complete the group, making it whole. Once I hit on that idea it occurred to me that the parts that make up the mandala design should be elements taken from each of the previous 11 quilts. If you look carefully, you will see elements from each of the 11 pieces I made as my part of the Twelve by Twelve project.

I used Photoshop to isolate elements from the 11 quilts, then began moving them around on a 30° wedge, drawn in Illustrator and imported into Photoshop. When I had a design I liked, I copied and rotated the wedge to form a circle. Every other section was flipped so the sections seem to be reflections of each other, much like the images seen in a kaleidascope. Then I printed twelve individual wedges on treated fabric, which I put together on a fabric background. The green circle in the center is the green ball that appears in my "chair" piece and is the only element that is not repeated twelve times.

I am very disappointed in the quality of the prints that I got from my printer. The color looked so rich on my monitor that I was very excited about this piece. The resulting color is a letdown, though I still like the design. Below is my Photoshop design that I printed from.


I actually love it most, from across the room, where you can't see what the individual elements are.

15 comments:

Karen said...

How brilliant is this Terry! What a great way to commemorate the past 2 years.

Diane said...

Terry! How funny that we were both fixed on the Cinderella idea and then deviated away from it!

I love your mandala, and as I was looking at it (before reading your text) I was enjoying the whole before I realized that the imagery came from all of your previous pieces! What a wonderful way to celebrate the 12th challenge! The colors and shapes work so well here -- a very pleasing quilt.

Gerrie said...

I love that Cinderella idea. Wish someone had tossed it to me!! Only you could pull this off, Terry. How gorgeous it is! I wish you had come over here to use my Epson printer. It does wonderful bright prints. That being said, I think the subtlety of the patterns and colors in this are wonderful. I was imagining trying to do this with mine and it made me giggle out loud. You have a palette that is yours and so all those pieces worked so well, integrated into the mandala. Can't wait to see this in person.

Kristin L said...

I had toyed with a similar idea of "summarizing" all my challenge quilts. Mine was going to be a 12 x 12 grid with 12 inchies that contained a bit of each of my quilts. Your's is so much more interesting though! When I first looked at it, I thought it was pretty and intriguing to look at, then I clicked it bigger and grinned wide the minute I recognized that it was elements from all your other pieces! I have the same issue with digital prints, but like the others say, I don;t think it was terribly detrimental to your piece. It still has a wonderful richness and it is wholly Terry.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Terry, what a great idea! I was looking at all the elements trying to remember which was from which quilt. The concept is so innovative. I also know the disappointment in the colors not printing out as vibrant as I've experienced that myself.

Helen Conway said...

This is just so darmed clever both in concept and execution - I type openmouthed. And the original mandela quilt is one of my favourite quilts I ever saw. It is just gorgeous. The only criticism I could have is that I am made to feel totally uselss in the face of mastery. Please tell me that you have been doing this 20 hrs a day for 40 years!

Terry said...

Well Helen, 40 years is close, but nowhere near 20 hours a day! Thanks for your kind words. You know I am a big fan of your work as well.

Susan Brubaker Knapp said...

Gorgeous and intricate both close up AND far away! I love how you included elements from all of the Twelve by Twelve project quilts, too.

kirsty said...

Exquisite! The concept is just brilliant and made with your usual precision, Terry, this quilt is magical. You are awe-inspiring!

Jeannie said...

Beautiful! I loved it when I first saw it, but then to see the close up of the wedge - wow! I love the bees.

Nikki said...

Wow! You always amaze me! Every tiny little detail is beautiful and the design is stunning both close up and from afar. I too love how the subtle colors work in the design as a whole. I would love to see a series of kaleidascopes each using different parts of the eleven quilts.

Brenda said...

To have completed a full cycle of challenges, to have come the full circle so to speak, is wonderfully satisfying and is captured perfectly in your quilt. Thank you for choosing such an appropriate theme. Maybe we can add kaleidoscopes to our 12x12 merchandise :-)

Françoise said...

What a good idea! I hope I can see it in real one day.

Connie said...

Incredible design and beautiful execution. I love your idea of builidng on a collection of designs.

marcia.conway said...

A very complex design and explanation and certainly well doane but made me feel very scared--- all those bees landing on a person.