Island Girl

Last Wednesday a group of northern Michigan fiber artists met at a friend’s studio to play with faces.  The hostess had a drawing based on an abstract face painted by Swiss artist Paul Klee and several of us decided to try to interpret it in fabric.

Senecio by Paul Klee (1922)

We started by tracing and/or drawing onto a sheer voile fabric and then used a reverse method of layering the fabrics on the front but sewing them from the back.   The face reminded me a bit of the work of  raku artist Doug DeLind and I was interesting is finding out if I could get a raku type effect by layering some silk organza that I had screen printed over batik.  At some point I abandon the traced lines and just began working from the front.

Island Girl 22" x 18"

I finished the face a few days later and cut away the excess voile.  Then I tried out a few background ideas before eying a piece that had been languishing on the design wall. I had constructed a free-pieced neutral background for some colorful designs then painstakingly cut it so I could piece the designs in.  I wasn’t all that happy with the results and a few days later slashed the background and inserted some strips with a little more contrast.  I like it even less so I just left it up but every time I saw it I thought “yuck.”

I wish I had taken a picture of it before I ripped out the seams and liberated the neutral background from the colorful designs.  The colorful designs went back on the design wall with more of their kind while I think about what to do with them.  The scraps of background material were resewn to give me a decent size background “canvas”.  That broke up the insertions and created just enough noise to work for this piece.  By this time I was thinking of this as an “Island Girl” so I added a few leaves.

Inspired by Klee, but my own take on the face.  Next month I hope to see what the others have done with it.

detail showing layers of organza and a close up of the background



Filed under faces

8 responses to “Island Girl

  1. Love it, Kathie! Great fun — and a perfect use for that “troublesome” background. 🙂

  2. I love this technique, I am going to give it a try. Thanks for sharing:) one question, how did you stabilize the fabric to drawn on it?

    • kathiebriggs

      Hi Susan, It is a fun technique and I hope you enjoy it. The voile we used was stiff, almost like a synthetic organdy. I think starching would also work.

  3. Made me smile, Kathie. The background is perfect and the Island Girl is a delight.

    • kathiebriggs

      Yes I am. Amazing that I can have fun in February. Working with color seems to keep the seasonal depression from taking complete hold of me.

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