It's hemp fabric that has been stitched then dyed in a soft blue-grey, then had that stitching taken out. Then I waxed an area and over-dyed it with that grey-purple color. Then the wax was boiled out and there are layers of dyed silk organza placed on the piece.
I don't know if it's that hemp fabric, or this process, but the fabric has a quality to it that reminds me of really old fabric. like found in an old family quilt or Japanese boro cloth....reallly faded, like a memory, like the lives that lived in the fabrics used...
At times I doubt myself and worry the stitching isn't having an effect, that it doesn't seem to add to the piece. But it's when it's layered and in varying quantities and stitch direction that, over time, it seems to build and create the atmosphere I'm hoping to get. But I have to get over the doubt and keep going when it isn't there yet.
Then again, to be devils' advocate, sometimes, even after all the work, a piece may not have the quality I was hoping to capture...but I guess that's all part of the process. And hopefully the learning in it all....
Here's a shot of the wintry type weather we've been having.
This was taken when I was cross country skiing at the nature center, which is just up the road from here. For temperatures, it's been fairly mild for VT, and not that much snow (bummer!), and pretty grey a lot of the time.
The grey may have spurred this next activity - a yearning for color!
The photo below shows a packet of fabric and papers that are layered, in preparation for folding and stitching. After which I'll dye them and also take the colors out....
In the past of experimenting like this, sometimes the colors of the fabrics or papers bleed during the process, and create unexpected color impressions on the layers next to it, so I'm interested to see what these materials will do.
My upcoming residency at The Vermont Studio Center is about to start - later today, yay! So this is one of the projects I'll work on, as well as more mixed media experiments, these next couple of weeks. It will be a welcome retreat to re-visit ideas and materials that have been mulling, but I don't quite have a handle on yet.