Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Like a Spotless Lamb

Clean; discharged.

The concept for this is all in the technique. Can anyone recall boring classes in school about how the medium is the message? It was discharged with bleach gel, which is of course a cleaning agent. That's about it.

The paper buckled quite badly and when I applied it to to the black piece it didn't go on straight. I also ironed it and this caused some staining to the piece (because bertha is always covered in goo of some kind). I applied a blur filter to the background so that this would be less distracting in the scan, as it was most noticeable.

I originally was going to do it in black and discharge it out to a gold tone. The black wouldn't discharge enough. Curse those scrapbookers and their insatiable need for the archival and fade-resistant!! But conceptually I felt red worked just as well if not better, even if it doesn't look as well. I did have some problems with discharging the bleach in some places as it was simply drying too fast and I ended up applying it thick and so lost some detail. But ultimately I managed to get the image so I am mostly okay with it.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

The Cavalry Arrived Five Years Later

I never got Hebrew font on this computer so I can't write the title. Sorry. And I think I might have forgotten it anyway. It works out to the horses and chariots of Israel-the words are all on the bottom there so look.

I have not bound it-I initially determined I would bind only the bottom and perhaps the sides, but I wanted the jagged raw edges on the top. I am thinking I might use an organza to do a loose binding however. Before anyone asks, it is not square and the pieces were not meant to match up or look the same.

So I had it in my head that I started this piece in 04-then I looked at my journal and discovered I had done it in 03. Oh man. I had the top finished, the wheels finished, everything. It languished because I could never figure out how to add the quilting design I had chosen of horses and wheels. I didn't dare freehand and I couldn't mark the top since it is mostly handpaints and hand dyed fabrics and there is no way I am ever going to wash it. I have never been proficient enough to quilt from the back and anyway I needed to see where Elisha was. So fast forward nearly five years.

When I was scouring the internet for storage ideas for the abbreviated art room (which is still not done because I sent mama to buy me drapery lining and the woman there convinced her to buy batting. She was all "The woman told me to buy this warm and natural stuff..."I said "that's batting!" Well I can always use it for other things. Damn this parenthetical aside is long) I came across someone showing the process they used for quilting with Glad press n' seal wrap. I realized that this was finally the perfect vehicle for my horses and bought some with the intention of using when I finished the art room (which I now realize isn't going to happen for at least five years so what the hell. This one was shorter).

When I got teh noo masheen I decided to try its quilting powers and pulled the press n' seal out. This stuff sticks. It did not shift, heck it didn't budge. And I drew the design right on the top with a sharpie-no bleed through-the sharpie marks did turn the jumping foot pink though.

Here it is with the press n seal, laid out and ready to go. Mama actually asked me why I was taping it to the floor. "The same reason I always tape them to the floor" I said. That woman's memory is so bad, she must be in the early stages of dementia already. Of course it's been a few years since I've done it with life getting in the way.

Close up of the sharpie marks. As you can see I just layered one sheet right over another until I had all the top covered. I stuck them on there before layering the quilt and they did not move at all. I did however remove the press n seal after finishing only the main horse shapes because I didn't want to be picking out five hundred one millimetre sized pieces off of it. I had some trouble with the quilting and am unsure if this is due to the press n seal or the very heavy valdani thread (valdani 30 wt is much heavier than the same from sulky. Where are the standards? I actually like the weight of the valdani better) because the thread broke frequently, even after I started using a metafil needle. I swore at teh noo machine a lot because you can't get into the machine anymore. Who's genius idea was this?

Here is a picture without the flash to show the quilting a bit better. Can anyone see the horses? I think I can only because I know where they are. Still they are there so that makes me happy. I like the way the wheels ghosted in this picture.

Uhh should I mention what this is a quilt OF?

Well...it's complicated. The least complicated version: when I was going to do Biblia/Biblica Hebraica I planned several pieces of which this was one so it is tied conceptually and stylistically to that. It is a depiction of 2 kings 6:17 with nods to the declaration made of Elijah and Elisha as they left the world. The basic design of the top is that of two stylized chariot bodies which were meant to look random and offset. It has a companion that I started and then ripped to pieces in order to overhaul the design completely. That one got stalled at that point while this one progressed to the quilt stage-I also never got around to writing all of the name of that one, heh. The wheels are rather the design focus of both pieces, they are netted lace.

This uses a number of hand painted and some dyed fabrics. The letters in the base are sunprints. It is completely pieced and turned out smaller than I intended because the paper I used as foundation was only that large (heh).

In my quilt journal entry for this piece I babbled for a good page and a half about the might of God and types of Christ and blah blah. Of all of that I'm going to say Elisha was always one of my favorite people in scripture. And of course I always thought Malachi's well worn prophesy was actually saying the Lord would be in the mold of Elisha. I mean really who followed Elijah the first time people? I also tend to pair he and Joshua together as a specific type because of their names and duties, and the transfiguration. It also speaks for the might of God which is never in the things we think it is. That is the mercifully abbreviated version.

ETA: I thought maybe I should add a close-up of Elisha so you can see what he actually looks like. The shoulder in particular was placed weird, but could have been worse. I sketched it, altered and then printed directly to the fabric. The lines were done with a twin needle.