Thursday, May 15, 2014

Extreme Embroidery (Metamorphosis) Series

I finally finished the stitching on the first piece in my series of "extreme embroidery" pieces. This piece took a really long time, but it was great from the standpoint of being VERY portable. Since my husband has retired (and we have a 9 month old granddaughter ten hours away from us), we have done a lot of traveling. I NEED a portable art project.

The pieces in this series were originally little pencil drawings by a Taiwanese exchange student of mine. Chun-San (Sandie) Yi was in my high school classes MANY years ago. I thought the drawings were charming and asked her if I could have her permission to do something fiber art related with them at some later date. She graciously gave me permission.

Sandie (as I knew her) is a VERY special person and a wonderful artist. Sandie says: “I grew up with being labeled as ‘disabled,’ and would often hide my hands when I was younger. Now I don't see my body is disabled/impaired at all. My hands and feet are my assets, my special traits. Art is a way for me to understand the beauty of the challenges in my life, and also as a way to adorn myself. I wish to be identified as ‘born with two fingers and two toes on each limb." When I first knew Sandie, she was a VERY shy teenager who always hid her hands and feet. She didn't want anyone to see (what she had been told was) her disability. After two years, she had started to "come out of her shell" but really transformed when she was in art school in Chicago. She went from hiding her "disability" to using it in/as her art. As her former teacher, I am SO proud of her. You can read about her and her remarkable metamorphosis here. From reading Sandie's story, I'm hoping you will understand the pieces (and just how much they mean to me) a bit better.

I enlarged the little drawings and added to/took away from them to make them better suited for my stitching. This first piece measures approximately 17 inches tall by 13 inches at it widest point. It isn't named yet as I'm TERRIBLE at naming my pieces. After reading Sandie's story (and, hopefully, looking at her art), I'd be happy for any naming suggestions you might have.

Some close up pics (before the black outline stitching)...

Close up pic (after black outline stitching)...

 

I still have some decisions to make about the piece. I have to figure out a way to hang it--should it be hung as is or should it be mounted to fabric covered stretcher bars/painted canvas. I also will need to finish the edges in some way--should the white outline fabric (I'm afraid to cut it any closer to the stitching.) be colored black (or some other color) or left as is. I used Misty Fuse to attach Eco felt to the back of the stitchery. Will I need to do some kind of stitching around the outside edge? The piece is pretty thick, so trying to do that worries me a bit. Should I attach it to a quilted background of some sort? Maybe I should make a convertible attaching device (maybe use Velco), so I can display it multiple ways. Hmmmm, lots to consider.

I already have my second piece in this series started. I expect there will be a lot more traveling to come--have portable art piece; will travel!

 

7 comments:

Paula said...

That is awesome Beth, it reminds me of James, one of my former students, the piece could be named "Free to be Me"

Nina Marie said...

Wow - she says as she picks her jaw off the floor. Love this! Love how its by hand and it took forever. It seems lately I see a lot of art that is quick and more quick - sometimes things need to show the mark of the hand to be truly special - can't wait to see the next one!

yarngoddess said...

A very upbeat piece. Excellent idea to use the black outline. Good luck with finding the right name - sometimes they just come to you already named.

Linda M said...

That is very cool and a wonderful tribute to your former student.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The black does make the piece pop. What a beautiful piece too. What a lucky young lady to have you as a teacher.

Cay Denise said...

Beautiful work! The close-ups really help to show just how much intricate stitch work has been done!

quilthexle said...

Oh wow !! Lots of travel time included, I guess ? Great piece !