I knew I'd gotten behind on my blog posts, but I didn't realize just how far behind until I looked at my last one. Since that post I've finished both pieces that I referred to in it, finished another jacket and free lace scarf, and am well underway on another jacket. I guess I have some writing to do over the next few days.
February was the month for the joint show with my daughter, Sonja Lee-Austin, at the public library in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Our theme was Wabi Sabi ~ Marks of Time, Use, & Weather. It's a Japanese philosophy or way of life that encourages us to find beauty in things that are humble, time-worn, natural, and so on. It's hard to put into a few words, but much has been written about it. And we're finding that many other artists have been inspired by the concept.
Early on I knew that I wanted to do at least one piece for our show that incorporated the recycled sari ribbon that we've recently starting carrying in our shop. It is wonderfully colorful--made from torn strips of Indian sari fabrics chosen at random and held together by a bit of back-and-forth machine stitching. It took me a long time to decide just how I would use it, but the idea did not go away. Here are the two pieces that resulted from staring at the hank of ribbon for several months.
First is the jacket I call "Tattered Jewels." Squares and triangles of fabric created from the sari ribbon were reverse appliqued into the front back and sleeves. It is finished with collar and cuffs of a beautiful hand-dyed cotton sateen from my friend Judy Robertson. For the final touch I use some great hand-made triangular polymer clay buttons I found at the Quilt and Fiber Art Museum in Cedarburg, Wisconsin in January. (It's a delightful museum if you're in the area.)
Here's the jacket from the back:
After finishing the jacket, I still had leftover bits of the sari ribbon fabric I'd created. Needless to say I couldn't let them go to waste. These all went into a piece I called "Sari Ribbon Dance." I laid out the scraps on a background fabric and then went to town with embroider stitches and beading.
I know there are more sari ribbon projects in my future, but I don't know just what they'll be yet.