Friday, January 29, 2010

Egret Mobile study = fabric art on the move

You have to be over 'a certain age' to remember Frank Sinatra belting out “My Way”.   I remember it well. As this project morphed from one thing to another the words, “I did it my way” kept floating through my mind.

The Fast Friday Fabric Challenge this month: something with wings, fractured, and done with only 3 colors out of the primary and secondary colors + black and white.

As I began to look at the suggestions for fractured things, mosaics appealed to me. Thinking on a grand scale I thought I would do a fractured water lily with an overlay of a dragonfly. I had some sheer fabric just waiting to be used. I found several dragonfly photos, blew one up to a size I thought I could stitch, ~20” long for a single wing. I'm thinking maybe I'll just do the wings as a mobile. By Sunday night I had finished tracing both parts of a single wing onto a sheer paper so that I could just turn it over to get the other side. Taking a break, I got something to eat. When I picked up the spoon to eat my soup, a horrible pain went through my fingers, hand and arm. I could not pick up a spoon without horrible pain. I took some Ibuprofen and sat down at the computer to read; just rocking and holding my injured arm.   I had stupidly injured myself. I definitely was not going to trace these again. Of course I was able to eat using my left hand.   Not much stops me from getting food into my mouth.

Dragon Fly Wing Drawings on my Work Table

The next day I took my drawings to a copy place. 4 to 5 hour wait. Nope. I just could not do that. Luckily I didn't do that because when I tried to stitch my sheer fabric over the paper, I could not get the paper out of those little bitty spaces. HMMM.

Butterfly Drawing with thoughts about making it into a mobile.

More research for a winged thing. I was now loving the idea of a mobile. As I surfed, I saw a GREAT plane with a man inside running across the ground. The wings were 3 high and the tail had lots of interesting pieces. I can now imagine this could really have a lot of movement. As I started drawing and planning, I realize I really didn't want a plane. How about a butterfly; hours later that was not working for me. I started looking at birds and mobiles. I did not want a flock of birds. Rather, my vision, was for one bird that I would fracture.  HMMM . . . an egret in flight.

Egret mobile with sheer bits, black wire and painted [also weighted] beak.

Finally, I have something I really like.  Luckily, I decided to do a small study instead of a LARGE piece.  Balancing the pieces was tricky for me. I used thin black wire and bent my shapes and attaching rings. I pounded the shapes a little to give them a little stiffness and help them keep their form.  Because normally these things are done using heavier materials then soldering a ring at the balance point, I added weight [extra wire] when I did my balancing. The beak is really lots of wire, wrapped, then painted. I sewed a layer of sheer fabric to each side, stopped the fray with liquid stitch, then purposefully frayed the edges, ie feathers.
Egret mobile view from kitchen.

Egret mobile from dining [now quilt art studio]

I have no idea why this is turning up yellow in this photo.  It really is two different sheer white fabrics.  I used one fabric on one side and another on the opposite side.  I sewed with a clear polyester in the bobbin and a silver thread on top.  As I researched fabrics, polyester is the most resistant to sun and age deterioration.  This was the reason for my fabric and thread choices.  This is so lightweight that it is continually in movement = success for a mobile.

Remembering the goals of this group: “it is through doing that we will learn.” Yes, I learned a lot. Plus, the end of the challenge always states something similar to , “remember to have fun”. Please note it is the Fast Friday Fabric Challenge; not a quilting challenge.

Yes, “I did it my way. . . "


Leslie said...

You sure did, WOW!

Sarah E. said...

I am in awe at how this turned out, Ann. It's an amazing piece! Hope your arm is better.