Nellie"s Needles

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leaf Piece Has Begun

This is the arrangement hanging on my design wall. I'm studying the proportions of the main section plus the angle of the newest piece with the pounded leaves that was begun in the mountains about a week ago.
The dragonfly piece at the top is a strip of upholstery fabric given to me by a friend. The edging with glass leaves was another gift from someone who knows I like to use bits and pieces. Both of those are a bit longer than my arrangement so there's room for adjustment.

The large piece with the black leaves is linen that I discharged a number of years ago. Real Maple leaves were scattered across it and then a strong bleach solution was spritzed over all. The bleaching action was stopped by immersing the fabric in a bucket of vinegar and water. At that time I discharged all the yardage I had of this linen with various patterns, some of which was used in "Come With Me to Kasbah". I love the copper color of the bleached areas. I had gone back to the store to purchase more, but it was GONE.

The vertical rectangle is one of five pieces I fabricated a year ago. Here are the other four pieces.
When we were in Memphis for Thanksgiving I had found wonderfully huge leaves with strong veins along the bank of the Mississippi River. They were too dry for pounding an image out of them so I did rubbings with oil paint sticks. After heat setting the leaf images the fabrics were saturated with water, then each was crumpled in its own pie pan and dabbed with acrylic fabric paint and left to dry. This method allows most of the pigments to migrate to the peaks of the folds giving those wonderful natural lines. There's room for more manipulation in this process. I'm sure I adjusted those wrinkles after a day and spritzed more water for more pigment movement.

All those pieces had been accumulating in pile for a year just waiting for the final element and the right moment to "become". There are quite a few pieces from that pile not being used and I think they'll get put away to make room for the other piles of possible projects stacking up in my studio.


teodo said...

This quilt will be BELLISSIMO too.
ciao ciao

JulieZS said...

That is brilliant to combine the positive image of the leaf pounding with the negative image from the discharge. Love how it echos the shapes back and forth. By the way I tagged you for the 7 Weird/Random facts meme.

Nellie's Needles said...

Thank you, Julie, for your observation. The leaves in the pounded and discharged fabric pieces are from the same tree, but different seasons and several years apart.

Doreen G said...

Wonderful Nellie--so many different techniques in one piece-it will be amazing when finished

Gina said...

Just found your blog. This is the first time I've seen pounding used. I got a book several months ago about it but have not tried it yet. (TIME - where does it go???) I do wonder about colorfastness and what kind of cleaning method should be used. I'd probably be inclined to use it for something small that could be framed myself and not worry about the cleaning!