Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Talisman - off to Houston

I have just finished a new piece of work.

The making process has had to squeeze into a ridiculously limited number of days at home since early April. My good friend Lisa Walton won the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship at Houston last year. She had contacted a group of us when the news was released and set up class times for us to learn some of the new skills she acquired and to make a quilt for her to take back to Houston for an exhibition this year.

I have really been remiss in my blogging. I tried some time back and simply could not work out how to put a photo exactly where I wanted it in the text - and my Flickr site had changed the way the 'share' system worked. I have just worked it out.

These photos are tiny. I am posting 'as-I-did-it' images from my mobile phone - done before I went to Europe.

I have been fascinated for a long time by small objects carried as protections or for good luck. Superstition is such a strong part of most people - especially when things are going wrong or when someone you love is ill. Growing up in New Guinea we often saw an image of a hand printed onto a wall or sign or rock. It meant Tabu - do not pass. There it was not a protection but in the Middle East - and I have lived a lot in the Middle East - it is the hand of Fatima, a powerful ward against the jealous eye. It tends to be most used there when things are going well. If you are newly married and happy, get a wonderful job, and then find out that your wife is having a baby and it is a boy - then you start to wear a hamza. A lot of Arab jewellery is based on amulets and talismen.

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Prints from a great silkscreen Lisa made for me from my drawings!

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Some attempts at free motion embroidery.

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This was serious fun - emulating handprints on a wall without the actual blood.

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Putting it together

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Simple quilting.

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I was not happy with the large light area on the right side with the stitched hands on it. Even though I wanted it to look rather haphazardly put together I felt that it seemed to be falling off the edge. I was also worried that the 'grubby wall' part with the large handprints (mine) was too pristine. I liked the quote from Sheila Payne's book, and had used it like a reference and in rough handwriting like a scribbled note, but I felt it was too dominant so I wanted to grey it down a bit. I brought out acrylics and a square sponge wedge brush and wiped paint over parts that bothered me. It looks charcoal but has ultramarine and silver mixed in for glint and an edge of colour.

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I am happy with it now. I added the strong text at the bottom in my own writing, and painted it over, then spent the last two days facing and finishing it and adding a label.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Lindi said...

Jenny, thank you for sharing your progress as individual photos. I love your finished quilt. The components are so beautiful, they could easily stand alone, but united, they enthrall. :)

11:41 am  
Blogger Feather on a Wire said...

I love this. It seems a totally new direction of colour and theme for you, but still very you (if that makes any kind of sense...)
My sister made my daughter a mobile when she was born which included all your talismans (except the bleeding hands)plus all the others from different parts of the globe she could think of. It's very precious to us.

5:51 pm  
Blogger fif said...

it's great to see you back Jenny, your work continues to be inspirational.

12:55 pm  
Anonymous Nelson said...

Hello my friend! I have been visiting your blog.Very understandable , simple and elegant. Congrats for your work. Thanks for sharing! Visit me too. I wish a excellent sunday for you, with very smiles and peace!

10:49 am  
Blogger Tena Walton said...

Stunning totally stunning Jenny & in my favourite colours! xx Tena

9:01 am  
Anonymous Ullan tilkut said...

Hi! Greetings from Finland! The quilt looks fantastic! I love it! It's so nice to find other quilters from other countries!!! Thank you for your lovely blog!

8:33 pm  
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1:12 am  
Anonymous Eija k said...

Greetings from Finland. You have beautiful work.

6:03 pm  
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