And so it Begins...

 Balance #21 work in progress - cotton, dye

Balance #21 work in progress - cotton, dye

I’ve just started working on Balance #21, after choosing a palette of pale greens, blues and greys for the background, and turquoise, teal, and deep blue fabrics for the foreground pieces.  I have an idea of what the final composition will look like, but the piece is created row by row, responding intuitively to what is on the design wall before me.  Each piece is individually cut by hand, each piece an organically shaped rectangle, custom shaped to the pieces around it.  A variable number of these pieces make up each row.  Each row is sewn to the previous row until finally the surface layer of the piece is complete.   

After the surface layer is completed, a piece of cotton fabric is taped to a flat surface, then a piece of bamboo and cotton batting is laid on the cotton, and finally, the surface layer of the artwork is laid on top of the previous two layers.  These three layers are then pinned together with safety pins so no shifting occurs during the next step.  Once the layers are together, thread colours are chosen to suit the artwork and the work of stitching in the texture begins.

After the texture stitching is completed, there are several hundred thread ends to pull thru to the back of the artwork, knot, and pull thru into the batting layer to secure the thread.  Next, facings, hanging sleeves and a label are added.  Finally a piece of wood slat is cut to fit the hanging sleeve for the piece.