With the deadline quickly approaching, I’ve been playing nimble fingers working on my piece for the Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana’s upcoming fiber art show. The feature of the show is to use transparent layers to depict one of the ancient force elements: earth, water, fire, air. I’ve used transparent layers before and have loved how they change what is underneath and add a layer of depth, mystery, and shadow. So I thought this would be easy and fun. It has not. Perhaps it’s because I usually work fairly small and this piece has to be 72″ x 16″ that has me stumbling. I had more false starts than I care to count this time. Perhaps it’s because I struggled to use only what I already had in my stash. When I finally realized that I just didn’t have any pieces of fabric large enough to do what I wanted to do and went and bought some hand-dyed silk organza, the project began to take shape. I choose to depict Air and birds in flight. Or at least that’s how it started. I do have an owl, but not too surprising, a human figure appeared.
The background is a cotton batik with a layer of hand-dyed silk organza over it. The figure is raw edge applique of organza, chiffon, scrim, and cheesecloth. All the pieces are attached with embroidery, mostly running stitch. I choose stitches that would look good on the reverse since the art works will be free hanging in the center of the room. The eyelash line is worked in twisted chain stitch. I particularly like the way it looks on the reverse side.
I call this the Shadow Side. I’ve trimmed all the knot thread tails since this picture was taken, but they still show. They will be part of the texture. With only one layer of opaque fabric, there is no place to hide them.
I’m nearly done by now and will post more pictures when it is finished.