Sunday, October 26, 2008

Elemental Dance

Journal Quilt Project II: Elements-Earth, Water, Air, and Fire: Elemental Dance

Elemental Dance is the first Journal Quilt I have ever made. It is inspired from a desire to create naturescapes using both conventional and unconventional materials and methods in a somewhat realistic manner. This piece began as a study on how to convey water working with fiber as a medium. The ocean background was formed using both commercial and hand painted cotton. Transparent and opaque fabric paints were incorporated along with pearlescent powders. Trying to capture the waves crashing against the rocks was especially challenging. Sheer fabrics, sparkled organza and cheesecloth were used to impart a wet and foaming feel to the piece. Angelina fibers and tinzl were also added to reveal the sparkle effect that water carries. Still, it needed more of a textural feel. The first few months, I began collecting all sorts of plastics from everyday household use. Some of these items included cellophane and wrappers from packaged products, assorted foam packing materials and really anything I could get my hands on. I spent a lot of time trying to determine how these synthetic materials behaved when they were heat distressed either with an iron or a heat gun. The prospect of recycling plastics to include in a naturescape was so appealing as I felt I had a hand in keeping the environment clean. The sky was hand dyed with procion fiber reactive dye. Rocks were raw edge appliquéd to communicate a rugged feeling. Machine pieced, appliquéd and quilted; metallic threads and cotton batting. Elemental Dance refers to the show that Mother Nature orchestrates as a cool brisk ocean breeze accompanies the rolling tides dancing along the rocky shore. Earth, water and air are major players in this audio and visual interplay that entices all the senses of the human body.