Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Story in the Making: Muses

This weekend, I'm holing myself up in the studio to work on samples for an upcoming class called, A Story in the Making: Creating Story Cloth with Print and Stitch. Unlike most of my classes, which are technique-driven, this class focuses on creating a story...actually letting the story unfold... while working with surface design techniques.

Today, I'm starting with a possible jumpstart for the class. I'm going to ask them to bring in objects that speak to them. This could be any object that catches their attention. I had a look in my china cabinet and these two objects caught my eye...

Stone carving of a rooster and a sunflower that I bought at some point for $24. Quite honestly, I don't remember buying it!
An heirloom. My great grandfather's prayerbook. It's not in the best shape, but I love the carving (bone or ivory), the maroon velvet and metalwork on the cover.

In addition, I want there to be some random element...a little bit of unpredictability. I decided to close my eyes and flip through The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images published by Taschen.

This is the page I landed on...

As I did all of the above last night, I had time to do a bit of brainstorming and connecting the elements and starting a story in my head. I wrote and scribbled sketches (more of that in a future post).

I started to think about the rooster in the stone carving who is most likely to become the protagonist of the story. I thought of Chagall's roosters.

I thought about a book I have on paper cutting (a topic that seems to be swirling around in my head lately) that has some rooster designs.

Then, I realized that there were other roosters and hens lurking about the house.

A wonderful and very colorful mother hen with her chicks stitched on burlap, from Haiti
Two angry roosters embroidered on cotton, from Mexico.

So, now I am gathering my thoughts and heading for the studio.

I want to keep an open mind about the story as I play with the fabric paints, create blocks and stencils and start in.

Wish me luck!


  1. Creating a story cloth sounds as if it could make a really interesting workshop. I love your colourful cockerels, and look forward to seeing what you make of your sample.

    1. Hi Olga- I am really excited about this concept...a bit of change for me from the usual technique-driven class. I'm a bit nervous but excited as well. I'll post what happens!

  2. Replies
    1. Working on it...or them as I would like a few different formats. Hoping to get at least one totally printed by the end of Sunday..hoping, being the word...