As per my previous post, the upper image is a detail of the quilt I’m currently working on, and more information about its origins are there – November 17th.
In the first ‘Sunburnt Textures’ I added pieces of twigs and some wonderful little round pebbles with holes already in the middle, found in laterite gravel on our driveway. I won’t go into how they were formed, but they occurred naturally, and were all sized around 1/2 cm diameter, amazingly enough. The finished work was only about 25cm x 40cm.
I wanted this new work to have something of these elements. There are no such pebbles lying around anywhere here; but as the whole work is larger (1m w x 1.25m h) the 3D elements themselves need to be larger to look right. So, I have made some elements in black to conform with the other stitch markings on the quilt.
Instead of wooden twigs, I have already done some button hole bars in some places, but they’re hard work with my sewing fingers still annoyingly tingly, and have blah impact, so although I’m not taking them out (Constance Howard) – I am adding to them. I’ve constructed some bias tubing with black cord inside, and will attach segments of this to the quilt to give an impression of twiggy debris lying around in the foreground. The larger black things in this picture ( 2 – 3 cm range) are little stuffed pillow forms embellished with black running stitch and stemmed french knots. I realise now they are very like tektites and if you google tektite images you’ll see they come in many small shapes and sizes. In effect they are tiny meteorites, the only objects known to have survived entry into the Earth’s atmosphere from outer space. They tend to land in several particular regions of the Earth’s surface, including Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region around the mining centre of Kalgoorlie. While living there we found quite a few out in the bush on salt pans and lake margins, and they’re often and easily confused with sheep droppings. When NASA was designing the re-entry landing capsule for the first manned space flights, they measured the surface angles of thousands of these objects to arrive at that conical shape we remember of that craft. This I know because one of our Kalgoorlie friends had one of the largest known collections in the world, and the NASA people came and measured many of his. Unlike real tektites, these soft sculptures will be easy to attach with a few stitches. And finally the little 1/2 cm round thingies I cannot claim to have made. They are wonderful little silk thread covered buttons I bought in Cairo years ago, and they’re used in much Egyptian clothing.
Lustrous, fascinating, light-as-a-feather and priced so reasonably that I couldn’t resist buying several whole loops of single colours. I’ve worn some of them as textile ‘necklaces’ occasionally. Of course I didn’t buy any black … that would have been just too easy, wouldn’t it ? But when a brainwave hit, I rubbed some of them over with thick tipped permanent black marker pen which worked just fine, so I have as many of those to add as I need – perfect.