|Shannon Conley, The Squash, c. 2017, 9 x 9 x 9|
I've recently been working on including more dimensional elements in my work and on creating 3D sculptural forms out of quilts (that is, fabric and batting held together by thread). You can see some of my previous explorations here, here, and here. However, I'm still in the experimental stage, trying to figure out how to give my pieces structural stability and support. I've long been inspired by Art Nouveau ceramics and pottery, in particular by the organic forms and by the sense of dimension, and decided to use that as my inspiration for the blog hop piece.
Paul Dachsel was an Austrian potter who started out working for Amphora pottery, a famous pottery studio at the end of the nineteenth century, before starting his own pottery around 1905. Though lots of Art Nouveau pottery and ceramics features very literal organic features (leaves, other elements from nature, human figures), I'm drawn to things that feature more abstracted organic forms. In addition, and in keeping with my current attraction to openwork, I love ceramics that feature open areas, cutouts, and extra "tentacly" dimensional elements. You can check out my pinboard featuring some of Paul Dachsel's work here.
|Paul Dachsel 4-Handled Vase|
Even though my pieces don't always look like quilts, I like to include some references to traditional quilt making when I can. In this case, my piece is formed from a single mariner's compass block. I started out with a quilt sandwich ~22" square (it was actually leftover from this project). It was partially painted, but my first step was to paint both sides with my typical blend of latex and acrylic paint. I then marked my mariner's compass block and free motion quilted with a bunch of different threads.
|Back and front at various stages in the quilting process.|
I next cut out the star, sealed the edges with my woodburning tool, and starting fiddling with it. This part was the most fun- trying out different dimensional arrangements to see what was stable and what wasn't, what I liked and thought looked right and what didn't.
And this is the final arrangement I settled on. As a final step, the whole thing was stiffened by painting on a layer of fabric stiffener.
This was a fun experiment and I'm looking forward to making more pieces in this series. I like the way this turned out, it reminds me of a squash or a sea urchin or Cinderella's carriage. What does it remind you of?
Thanks very much to Alida for inviting me to participate in her blog hop. Check out her blog for all this year's participants and definitely check out the others for today: