Banner: Porcelain Grace, Meryl Ruth, Fine Art

 

 

  TESSERAE IN REFRACTED LIGHT, AN ART QUILT


An art quilt is made using a woven panel made with strips taken from two silk-screened cloth panels and bordered in black cloth.
  • From my lakeside woodland home in Maine, I can see a large variety of bird species. None is as noisy or as beautiful as the Pileated Woodpecker, which I have photographed many times. I depict here an especially lovely specimen. Although I have assembled large silkscreened images in the past from smaller segments, creating this art quilt is the first time I silkscreened an image for a single piece larger than the standard 8.5" x 11.0" film available for silkscreening purposes.
  • An eleven-color separation silkscreen is printed on large panels of white cotton cloth. This is done with aid from experienced consultants who work in large-image film for the silk-screening process, specifically out of an online firm in California capable of printing oversize film for silkscreening. The film is essential for exposing the final silkscreen image onto its frame.
  • A further problem is encountered because my relatively small hands and weight do not have the strength to properly use the large squeegee necessary to achieve the desired silkscreen result. Again, consultation yielded a solution: I was advised to raise the floor level to gain better height and leverage so as to provide more weight and force into each pass. This modification proved quite successful.
  • After the large film image is printed satisfactorily by silkscreening, the panels are further enhanced with the use of air-brushed and hand-painted fabric paints. The best of the panels are selected for completion, as described next.
  • Several printed panels are made. I select the best two and cut them into one-inch strips, one panel cut vertically and the other horizontally. I then weave the strips back together. This is done somewhat irregularly to give the composition a refracted quality, using the plain weave technique.
  • When the woven unit is completed, six-inch black borders are sewn onto all sides.
  • Cotton batting is sandwiched between the front decorated and bordered panel and a black backing cotton fabric. I use a sewing machine to quilt some of the newly-formed cube-like components (resulting from weaving the strips together) in linear patterns, using only the satin stitch. In addition, I introduced variously colored threads to match or contrast with the colors in areas that I am sewing together.
  • The choice (to match or to contrast colors) is based on my artistic sense for the purpose of imparting interest and variety.
  • A black bias tape border is added to complete the quilt.
  • Date: 2016.
  • Size: 31.5" x 23.5".
  • Price: $2,000.

 

 


ENLARGED VIEW

 

Enlarged view.

 

 


CREATIVE PROCESS

 

 

 

Photograph taken of piliated woodpecker for use in creating a fiber art quilt.

 

 

  • Photographs are taken of a Pileated Woodpecker. The best, shown here, is chosen for enlargement.
  • Eleven-color separation is done. A  large film image is made for silkscreening from the color separations.
  • The image is transferred to panels of white cotton cloth. The best two are chosen for the intended woven panel.

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 Cut in strips and woven together. Enhanced with colored thread during weaving process.   

 

  • One panel is cut into one-inch horizontal strips; the other is cut into vertical strips of the same width.
  • Strips are woven together and sewn somewhat irregularly to impart a refractive effect.
  • Sewing for this step is done with satin stitch in colored threads matching the colors of the areas being sewn together.
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    Detailed close-up views.

     

     

    • Close-up views presented to show intricate details of multicolored thread painting using colored threads matching the background in some areas and contrasting with the background. This is done to provide interest and variety to the work.

     

     

    A black border is added to complete the work.

     

  • A  large black border is added to the embellished panel.
  • Cotton batting is sandwiched between the front panel and a black back panel.
  • Quilting is done by thread painting using a sewing machine to produce iinear multicolored patterns.

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