I’ve been writing about a quilt I am creating based on Margaret Atwood’s poem, “Morning in the Burned House.” It began to take shape this week.
I am very much in experimentation mode. I love the poem, and I have a vision of how I want the finished composition to feel as an emotional statement. I have a hunch that working as a mostly whole cloth creation will be an interesting way to get there. But I really can’t tell until I’m pretty far along in the process.
This week I printed all the sections using acrylics and wheat paste resist. Here’s how the revelation proceeded.
At this point, I had already masked the fabric with wheat paste resist and painted over it to define pattern and design elements. I’ve soaked the fabric in water for a few hours to get the wheat paste softened. Now it’s time to get the wheat-paste-acrylic sludge off.
A plastic worktable cover helps. This will be wet and messy
I use large metal spoon to scrape off the bulk of the wheat paste. (Remember that by now it’s mixed with dried acrylic paint. It’s a plastic-filled gunky mess. Definitely scrape up all the sludge and dispose of it in a garbage bag, not down the drain.)
More patient scraping gets almost all the sludge off. After that, I took it outside to the garden hose to remove the remainder.
Now – for the first time in the process – I can see the composition taking shape.
Here’s a detail of the foreground – a kitchen table with checked cloth. I like the way the crackle of the resist gives this a look of age and texture. That fits the emotional tone of this work.
Next I’ll be adding the stitching, and working on surface design patterns to tie all the parts together. Stay tuned!
LOOKING AHEAD: I’ll be exhibiting in three Central Florida Festivals this year. If you are nearby, I hope you’ll stop by and visit.
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