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.
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.
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.