Friday, January 12, 2018

Invasive species fiber art - Carp, Sea Lampry and Goby

“Invasive Species”, is a series highlighting the pervasive issue of the invasion of non-native species in our local natural environment. These species arrive from global locations where natural predators keep them in check. Here they have no natural predators and populate our ecosystem, stressing our native species and in some cases destroying the natural habitat. There are more than 180 invasive or non-native species we know of currently in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The Great Lakes are one of the most heavily invaded aquatic systems in the world.

These invasive creatures are created from cloth with details added in the sashiko and boro style of Japanese embroidery which is used as decorative reinforcing stitching. Driftwood from the shore of Lake Ontario in incorporated into the artwork. The barren nature of the wood against the decorative embroidery suggests the destructive potential of the invasive species to the existing environment.

“Sea Lamprey” sits on a piece of driftwood hiding within bright green invasive vegetation, waiting to strike its prey and suck the life from it.

“Round Goby” in its enlarged size laying on the bottom on a piece of smaller driftwood has overtaken its surroundings, much like it is doing in our lakes.

“Common Carp” hangs by its tail, representing the attempt to control the invasion of this fish to environments in which it overtakes. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Boro and Sashiko inspired calendar book cover

I became tired of carrying around my calendar and all the things I put in it, which constantly fall out and decided to make myself a cover. One I could patch as it wears out and I could customize it as needed over time.  The following photos show my efforts.

This is the outside cover

The inside of the cover

Front cover over calendar book

I need to add a few things to the inside like a pen holder and slots for business cards and a closure.

I am enjoying using up scraps of fabric. These pieces of fabric were laid out on a piece of denim recovered from jeans. Then embroidered and another piece of denim fabric added to the inside.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Invasive Species and fiber art

Well one thing leads to another. I decided I needed to do a series and needed a theme. A walk along the shores of Lake Ontario with its driftwood pieces made me think about what lives in the lake.  Fish came to mind.  Then I saw something about Invasive Species and decided to do my interpretation of that theme.

How do I incorporate felt, driftwood and the sashiko/boro inspired stitching together to address this theme. One piece of driftwood screamed "I AM A FISH TAIL" to me, and so it is now a fish tail.
This piece is a work in progress. It still needs fins, a back, and to be attached to the wooden tail.

Delving into my inherited fabrics from my mother allowed me to find interesting fabrics that I then embroidered around the patterns using a light gray pearl cotton thread. I did purchase sashiko needles which made my life much easier. This is a detail shot below of the head.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The denim square project

I recently inherited hundreds of denim squares from my mother. She is a quilter and has been downsizing. I was going through this large bin of denim squares cut to the same size using different aspects of the jeans they were cut from.  She spent so much time cutting these squares, paying attention to the different aspects of the cloth she was cutting. They were intended to be made into a denim rag quilt.

My vision for them is different. It is also evolving into an exploration of different sewing techniques - exploring sashiko - a Japanese form of embroidery and boro a Japanese form of mending. This is my latest square.

The Denim squares I am starting with.

Denim squares with hexies - english paper piecing exploration with embroidery

Ruching - scraps of yarn on denim

Sewing lace that is falling apart on the denim squares with perl cotton. Reminds me of a sunflower in a way. 

I have decided to wait until I have a large quantity of squares before I decide what to do with them. Will I make a quilt or a cushion or something else?
 I don't know yet.