Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Horse Chestnut at Bear Creek"

"Horse Chestnut at Bear Creek" a 3-D wall hanging, made with my original photos, printed on fabric and thread painted withe rayon thread. I was inspired by an episode on Quilting Arts TV Click here by Barbara Schneider making 3-D leaf fiber art. Barbara makes giant leaves, from original scans, then makes free form bowls with them. I saw the episode one week too late to collect fall leaves, I wandered around and found several that were not totally brown and still had some color left to them.

I started in Photoshop to increase the color saturation and manipulate the color a little bit. I wanted it bright and colorful! Next was to enlarge it with "Posterize" I did not want a full 4 pages, so I set it up on half a page, and only printed the top 2 pages of the 4 set. I used a white cotton treated with Bubble Jet Set and backed with freezer paper. I printed it on the HP printer at "Best" setting, the colors came out real well. Layering with Wonder Under iron on fusible and a backing of my own hand dyed fabric, gave me a stiff enough leaf, so the stitching would not distort it. I began thread painting with the darker veins, then a rust along the veins, and the edges. The edges were several shades of rust, yellow, cream and brown, mostly I did the darker colors, the light colors and some accents. I left the mid tones of the fabric to show through. Last I went back with some dark brown dots, and small details.
The finished leaf, it looks and feels almost real, the texture is amazing. I trimmed the leaf close to the stitching, and used Fray Check along the edges so the stitching would not unravel where I had trimmed it.

I dreamed one night about putting the leaf on some river rocks, nice and puffy, round, I thought I might use a gather stitch around the rocks to make them really round and 3-D. The perfect photo was found in my stash, colorful rocks in different sizes, I think it was taken at the beach. I cropped it so I used only the colorful rocks, when printed as an 8" x 10" the rocks were large enough to match the leaf. I wanted dimension so I thread painted the rocks first with only an iron on interfacing, then added batting, stitched around, and trimmed the batting. This is "mock trapunto" and added lots of loft, I even added extra batting to several of the rocks. The rocks were then layered with another layer of batting and a gray Bali batik backing. I used a dark charcoal cotton thread to outline each rock, and make it puff up, adding heavy stitching in the empty places between the rocks to make it recede. Lots of 3-D texture, again they almost look real. Then trimmed and stitched in a narrow black satin stitch, with Fray Check. the 8 x 10 was not enough rock, so I made another section, in the photo, and added it to the top.


I tried to take a side view of the piece so you can see the dimension. I hand stitched the leaf on, in only several spots, so it was off of the rocks, and rippled and curled. Close up pics of the finished piece.
And finally a closeup pic of the rocks. This was so much fun, I have several more ideas to try out, so I'll go look through my photo collection. Let me know what you think of it, please leave a comment.

I have linked this with Nina-Marie's site "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see some wonderful textile artists.

12 comments:

  1. You just blew my mind! Thank you for sharing your work and the thoughtful, educational tutorial!

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  2. I try to explain some of my thinking as I make a piece, like stitching the rocks first then adding extra batting. Thank you for your nice comments.

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  3. This. Is. Stunning.
    You made me want to stop everything, and figure out how to make something similar. Really.
    LeeAnna Paylor
    lapaylor.blogspot.com

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  4. You've created a wonderful composition. I love the dimensional aspect of it. Looks like a really fun technique - I can see why you want to do more!

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  5. Very creative! Creating dimension is addicting.

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  6. Absolutely breathtaking! It looks so real.

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  7. Starting with my photographs makes it look real, I say if a picture is worth a 1000 words, it is worth a 1000 yards of thread.

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