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Looking through the Veil


This piece includes multiple elements and unusual materials for me. I incorporated hemp fibers and paper, along with my usual assortment of materials, silk fabric, thread and fibers, and my trusty polyester thread. This combination of course and fine, dense and transparent really attracts me to this piece, and the silk fibers beneath the organza really do appear to be a glow from a lantern.

Below is the sketch which represents this piece's humble beginnings! As you can see, most of the detail is still in my head, with the sketch mostly serving as a reminder of where things should be. Most details get worked out in the process of making.

In the image below, I have laid out the essential parts: There are silk fibers in gradient shades on the left side of the piece to give the impression of strong to fading light. In the middle I have embroidered the staff in the man's hand, cut out the man from paper, and cut out the sheet of hemp fibers I had made in advance. When needing hard, straight lines, I first laid out fibers and saturated them with sizing (a stiffener) and let them dry. Then you can treat it as you would paper. On the bottom right, I laid out fibers for a shadow. At some point, I enhanced the staff's light with metallic threads in a free-form manner.

Here we see everything stitched underneath a hand-dyed piece of grey silk organza. It softens everything and really finishes off the piece, making it seem as if there is a person trapped within the crystal.

All that's left is to enhance some features with hand embroidery. The lines got finished off so that the "front" of the crystal stands out, and the light got some brighter color. Finally, the edges were trimmed, folded back and machine and hand stitched.

All in all, it turned out quite well, I think.

This piece is in a private collection, but other works from Parallel Worlds are available from Roberta and Bob Rogers Gallery.

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