I am in the middle of some studio experimenting. I want to translate one body of work into another and I’m feeling my way step by step.
For some time, I have been creating small matted and framed collages on paper. I began them as a break from making only large, more complex art quilts. I quickly realized how much I like them and how much I am learning from them.
When I create large quilts, (mostly memory-based, storytelling works) I start with printing my own fabrics, generally monotype, but also stencils, relief, resist and some direct painting. I assemble by collaging onto backing fabric, and the construction and finishing are quilt methods.
When I create collaged works, I also start by printing my own fabrics and my own rice paper. I assemble by collaging onto watercolor paper. Except for putting it into a mat, there is no additional finishing. What I discovered is that this kind of work has some freshness and lightness in composition that I really enjoy.
So, my studio project is to translate that method of working onto fabric, bigger than my small matted collages, but not quite as large as my large storytelling quilts. I will include stitching, but I want to maintain the ragged-edge look of the collagd elements and a little lighter composition.
I have tried some different presentations, but I think what’s going to work is collaging onto white gessoed muslin. The artwork will have a clean, turned edge but no binding. It will have felt backing and and a felt inner layer so that stitching creates some depth. Hanging will be from a pocket and a rod, like an art quilt. Unlike an art quilt, I’ll be creating on whole cloth, not piecing the work together. And I’m using a vertical format, 38”H x 25”W. (I hope to compose some that might hang well together in a group of 2 or three pieces.)
I’ve done a lot of fabric printing recently. (Nothing pays off quite like investing time in creating fabric that’s fresh and interesting!) I grabbed a handful of things I like, and tried them out on my worktable. I had to stand up on my stepladder and shoot down onto the table to capture the compositions. (Hence, the skewed look to these photos) I love seeing how rearranging the same patterns in different configurations creates such interesting changes in the feel of the work.
What do you think? Anything else it would be interesting to try?
As always I enjoy the intuitive, let’s try-this-and-see-what-happens nature of composing collage. I’m looking forward to developing up this body of work.
Thank you for reading. I always enjoy questions and comments.
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