Friends I have known since 1988 arrived this week. Ed hiked the Appalachian Trail with a group each day and I collected Carlene to work with me in the studio. I wanted to get started on my piece about my travels in Australia and she needed to work on some assignments in embroidery studies.
First off I made the prints from the etched plates and only used fabrics colored in Australia. They are four different images of my shadow on the land there. Then I collected all the etchings that I had done there or at home using photos of gum trees as inspiration. Next came the pile of botanical prints made on paper while at Beautiful Silks last March and some of the handmade papers I made in Claudia Lee’s class last July. The palette was exactly what I was looking for.
Several pieces of Thai kozo had to be pieced together as I wanted the work to measure one square meter. Above is the first strip of pieces placed together. The botanical and dry point etchings had to be sanded down to make the papers more pliable. I added scraps of rusted papers done by a method I learned from Adele in Australia. It was like putting puzzle pieces together and Carlene had such a good eye for helping with the placements.
These are my “walkabout” tracks across the land into the country. The problem was that I needed to cover the pieced seams of the kozo paper and placement was not where I would have wanted it. So, logically I changed the size from one meter by one yard, using both measuring systems as it is about my being there and dragging my own sensibilities with me.
I pinned it to the wall on Wednesday just before a dinner party with several friends.
And here is the table with loads of BBQ ribs and veggies.
And Lynda’s kale salad that was the best!
The feed back was good from the textile women who were there as well as our artist neighbor who had been watching my progress with the piece I have decided to call, “Walkabout”.
Here are some details:
I intend to use the spun paper shifu threads that have been colored with the soils of Australia and some of the watercolors made from pigments gathered there to work in older tracks onto the background. Not sure about that yet as right now it is all about the stitching my own tracks into place. Keeping with the theme of being there I am punching the stitch holes five millimeters apart.
And of course the thread I am using was purchased in Hobart at Wafu Works. It is a lovely loosely plied cotton with a nice sheen that slides easily in and out of the holes.
So today I will punch and stitch the last of the six tracks in place and begin thinking about the tracks that came before me flowing over the ground below.
Til next week…..and I really hope it goes as well as this one, full of friends, food and fibers.