Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, November 09, 2008

In the Smokies

A week ago we were in the mountains with friends looking at this for the weekend.
The leaves were at the peak of color and the weather was glorious. At some point during the weekend I talked about pounding leaves and crayon rubbings to one of my friends who recently became serious about making art. On our last afternoon she tapped me on the shoulder and told me she'd like to try pounding leaves. I just happened to have a couple of pieces of muslin in my go-everywhere project bag. Within a short time we had gathered some of those beautiful leaves, found some sticks, and were pounding away.
All that tap-tap-tapping attracted observers, one who brought us a metal meat pounder from the kitchen ... the sticks worked best. This was the resulting image of leaves and weeds that I pounded out.
When we got home I decided the background needed color. I thought if paint were brushed on the back side of the fabric the imprints wouldn't be disturbed. I was wrong and am sorry to have lost some of those wonderfully clear prints of the mountain leaves. The strong impressions you see on this piece are from leaves I pounded in from our trees at home.
On the bright side, the additions of paint and leaf impressions made this a more complex cloth. This small square excites me and I feel nudged to create the leaf piece that's been brewing in the back of my mind for more than a year. You'll be seeing more of it.

8 comments:

Vicki W said...

Very cool!

Karen said...

if you had pre painted the muslin would it have worked better? and how stable are pounded prints? washable if somehow fixed into the cloth? and the colors! They came through so well! Questions, I have questions! I love the organic nature of this. now I am off to find a big stick and see if there are any leaves left!

self taught artist said...

you blow my mind. beautiful, delicate....fragile and unspeakably powerful. i would be excited too if i did that, can't wait to see the magic you make.

teodo said...

Nellie fantastic...........
I've never seen this technique.
The leaves are soaked or dried and what did you put under...paper or wood?
ciao ciao

Joyce said...

That looks like a lot of fun. I'll have to wait until next year though. Everything here is under snow.

Elaine Adair said...

My word, woman - no wonder you are so creative - anyone who has extra muslin already in her bag with her!

Yep, I'm going to try that in spring! Very pretty and interesting.

Anne Wigfull said...

Brutal but very effective! I've seen this done with flowers but they always looked wishy washy - not these leaves. Can't wait for the next step.

JulieZS said...

Isn't that leaf pounding just a total blast? I'm glad you had fun, and what a beautiful place you got to do it!