Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Silk Road, maybe

I'm in the throes of a three panel silk piece. I dyed three sections of white silk, using coffee dye, showed you this a while back,and allowed it to move as it wanted to, taking advantage of the laws of fluid dynamics, and now I'm at the next stage.

What I'm doing is using embroidery and metallic brush pens to work into the designs that formed themselves, with a different color grouping for each panel. They should work together okay, since the harmony of the three parts will hold up, and the backgrounds though varied, are the same dye working on it.

Here's panel three, or maybe one, or maybe two, they're not joined up yet. Complete panel then two details enlarged. I plan on joining the three panels in some interesting way when I decide how (!) and meanwhile, I'm grappling with the technicalities of actually doing this work.

Here's the deal: the matter at hand is how to introduce embroidery, which I'm dying to do, without sinking into prettiness and trivia. One way is that I'm using metal brush pens to echo the embroidery stitches, and to fool the eye into wondering which is which. I'll do couching, too, which is laying a thread on top of the fabric and catching it at intervals with a stitch, but so you see it as a continuous line. I'm aiming for richness and texture and color, but not oh how cute, if you follow me.

The other limitation for my hands, which are much better these days, but don't like to push a needle for very long through resistant fabric, is that my time at each session of embroidering is short. But I can paint for a while.

So this is where I am. This is a piece that has to move slowly, very unlike my usual headlong take no prisoners approach, but I think it needs that, so that I can make decisions rather than reactions.

Comments and suggestions are welcome! This is the kind of thing I can't really carry in to the artists' group for critique for several reasons, one being the portability of a fragile piece and how to show it, the other being that I suspect the fiber aspect of it might not be in the experience of the other artists. I could be wrong, there, as Monk says...


Minimiss said...

This is looking interesting. I like the idea of the thread painting together with the brush painting.

warpedart&design said...

Hi Liz, Have you thought about machine embroidering the work? Free form light trails of thread lines through the work could give you the freedom and spontaneity that you you seem to cope so well with. Just a thought.

This absolutely beautiful work.