Monday, November 1, 2010

A Lasting Impression

As sometimes happens in these Colourplay challenges, within hours of announcement of the challenge palette, I was presented with an inspiration image. A television program touched upon the refurbishment of Sydney Town Hall including its splendid Victorian copper-pressed ceilings.   It made a lasting impression - the colours were in the ballpark and I was intrigued by the decoration.  Then I headed off to New Zealand for a couple of weeks to accompany the Twelve by Twelve exhibition.  I admired many pressed metal ceilings in New Zealand but wasn't sure that I could capture the intricacies of the patterns using my piecing techniques.  Besides I was travelling and did not have access to a sewing machine.

Then in Wellington I came across Yvette Stanton's new book The Right Handed Embroider's Companion (there's a left handed version too).  What serendipity!  I could use this travel time to expand my stitching vocabulary and make my own version of a pressed metal ceiling.

A Lasting Impression by Brenda Gael Smith

I enjoyed the stitching process - the wool felt was like butter!  I stitched the teal centre panel first and appliqued it onto the rusty background using armenian edging stitch, taking the opportunity insert some batting in between the layers at the same time.

It's a departure from my usual style and, in keeping with my embroidery experience level, is a bit naive but I like the penny rug quality. As I worked on this piece, my husband frequently expressed concern that it "isn't a quilt" and that I may be expelled from the group! I don't think there is any danger of that but I do have a back up piece if required.  It started out as writing in flour paste like this:

And ended up like this:

11 comments:

Cathy said...

Lovely, process?

Terri Stegmiller said...

Wow Brenda, it is a big departure from your usual, but I really like it and I like your flour resist piece as well. And there is definitely no danger of you getting expelled.

Karen said...

Brenda, I love that you used mainly blue/green for your background, the stitching really stands out. Potato starch is something I want to experiment with more, and this piece is very cool.

Gerrie said...

Has the Laundry King seen what some of us do in the name of quilts? This is a departure, but lovely and peaceful. I love having hand stitching to work on when I am travling.

Diane said...

This is a delightful departure from the pieces we've seen recently (I was expecting rusty shibori!) but I really like this a lot. It does echo the tin ceiling patterns and I love how it has a folk-art sense that is happy to it. What good use of your travel stitching!

Terry said...

This really is a departure from your sophisticated geometric pieces, but I love the joyfulness of it and the reinterpretation of traditional materials and patterns. I would not have guessed this piece to be yours!

Kristin L said...

I too did not expect this from you, but I definitely like it. It reminds me of south american embroideries -- which is probably teh part that is reminding you of penny rugs. It has a nice honesty to it. And yes, it still counts as an art quilt. :-)

Yvette Stanton said...

Hi Brenda,

I love your pressed metal ceiling embroidery! And thanks for mentioning my books again. I am very pleased that you are enjoying using the right-handed one.

Yvette Stanton, Vetty Creations
www.vettycreations.com.au/white-threads

Chantel said...

I vote the embroidery number as the challenge piece.

kirsty said...

Wouldn't have guessed this was you, Brenda :)
It's a wonderful representation of pressed metal ceilings. Funny that you saw them in New Zealand - I never noticed them there until after I had become familiar with them in Queensland. I still tend to associate them with Queensland cottages. The variegated threads that you chose recreate the 'layers of paint chipping off'-ness that one usually sees.

Françoise said...

Beautiful Brenda! And it's so funny that your husband thought you might be expelled from the group for producing this!