Monday, January 25, 2016

Quilt Art on Silk - Golden Nymph

This is yet another chapter of my work: quilt art.  Not a bed quilt but an art quilt, a wall hanging and much smaller than a quilt that is used for keeping you warm. It belongs to the Asian series. The wealth of Asian motifs and ornaments I found to be very inspirational for a decorative piece on the wall – at the same time it was a reminiscence of my wonderful travels.

 “Golden Nymph”
50″ x 26″

The inspiration for this piece specifically came from a tiny golden sculpture that was found on Java. So I called it the “Golden Nymph”. I cannot even remember where I saw it – the image was burned into my brain and so I made this art quilt.

The gracefulness of this figure, which is so typical for the women of south east Asia, was for me the symbol of femininity. So I did not only want her to have nice hair, made up delicately and adorned with flowers, but also the dress to become something very special and sophisticated.

Dresses or rather sarongs for special events in southeast Asia are wonderful textile artworks. Either adorned with embroidery or precious stones, pearls and golden threads or all of them, painted and hand sewn they are real miracles of craftsmanship and their creation can take hundreds of hours.

Most of these sarongs are very colourful – I decided to keep the colours more subdued and instead to emphasize the pattern of the dress which has been hand painted after the quilting, mixing golden pigments into the silk paint. I also added metallic pigments to the figure itself in order to remind of the golden statue itself.

 In order to create this image on silk I made a simple drawing which then was transferred to the cloth with a “light table”.
If you don’t use such a device very often it is not necessary to buy such a thing. What you need is the following:
2 neon light bulbs which could be connected directly to a socket, 4 cans with the same size (doesn’t matter if you take pees or corn or any other ) and a glass plate or thicker acrylic glass plate big enough to cover the neon bulbs between the 4 cans without touching the glass or acrylic plate. Best is to place the 2 bulbs horizontally in a distance from one another that matches the size of your glass plate.
Now you can place your drawing on top of the plate and the silk or any other thin fabric on top of the drawing and start transferring your drawing lines. Voilà – you have your light table. It helps to use strong marking lines on the drawing and the fabric should be quite thin. Here a 2-ply dupion silk was used.
As I already said the quilting was done by hand before the painting. Hand quilting on silk creates a lovely relief so that light and shadow form their own patterns. So the background pattern was thought as an additional adornment to the figure. A detailed image as below shows that pattern:

A sleeve has been added to the back of this art quilt in order to hang it on a dowel. It also could be mounted on a stretcher frame if desired.



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