Thursday, July 12, 2012

Achilles' Heel

I guess it's no surprise I decided on a body part for this challenge, and Achilles' Heel sort of "jumped out"  :) at me.   Greek mythology tells the tale that Thetis was foretold while Achilles was a baby,
he would someday die in battle. To prevent this, Thetis dipped him in the River Styx which was supposed to make him invincible.  Thetis, unfortunately, did not notice the water hadn't washed over the heel she was holding, and later, in battle, the great warrior Achilles was shot in the heel with a poison arrow and died.


To make this piece, I wanted to try a using sheers in layers.  I was only moderately successful at this because I ended up with two layers instead of the three I had wanted.  They are stitched loosely at the top with about an inch of batting in between so the piece kind of moves.


I started with some MRI images of the heel which showed to progression of tendons and bones from one side to the other. The under layer is a piece of black organza. I traced the image I wanted with wax, then used Decolorant to get rid of most of the black.  This turned out great, very mottled looking.


For the top, I used white organza and hand stitched another image of the heel in red thread.  Then I applied some gold foiling, avoiding the heel.  Photographing this not easy with all the gold and sheers, so I can say with all honesty, it looks better in person.





12 comments:

Deborah Boschert said...

What a beautiful color palette, Karen -- I love the gray, red, tan and gold. That red stitching is perfect and so delicate. So smart to leave the gold off the heel!

Deborah Boschert said...

That was me. I accidentally posted my comment three times. Sorry!

Gerrie said...

As usual, I would like to see this in person - your work always begs for a closer examination. I like how the gold glimmers through the piece. Maybe you, Terry and I can bring our pieces done so far to Long Beach.

Diane Perin Hock said...

This has a very ethereal quality to it which I'm sure is even stronger in person. I really like the layer effect and the sense of lines under form (much like a real body, I guess). It's wonderful -- I would love to see this in person!

Helen Conway said...

I like the fact that this meets the traditional definition of a quilt yet takes the quilt far from tradition to a modern piece of textile art.I can imagine it is indeed one to see in person. I am inspired to try the wax and decolourant technique!

Kristin L said...

I too would love to see this in person, as I bet it does look wonderful in person. I get the feeling of looking through the skin and into the bones, as Diane also mentioned. I hope you try more of this technique to work out even more layers and depth.

Terry Grant said...

I love all those things already mentioned and especially I love the view of the foot and ankle--such a delicate and graceful shape. I want to see this too!

Nikki said...

I agree with everyone. So light and transparent and also so strong.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

This piece has a da Vinci feel about it with its brown hue and anatomical sketch detail.The foiling was an inspired touch.

Terri Stegmiller said...

That's so great that there was a myth that helped you keep going with your body parts study. The technique you describe sounds very interesting and I would really love to see this in person to appreciate the layers and depth that the sheer fabrics offer.

Françoise said...

Like all the others, I would like to see this piece in person. I wonder why you chose to use red for the last layer stitches, but it looks fabulous. Great job.

Karen Rips said...

I chose black initially and have the sheer piece I stiched on left over, but you couldn't really see the outline with black, so I switched to red.