Saturday, May 13, 2017

To Tell a Story with Cloth: Impressions, Connections, and Memories: Significant Object Portraits

Jan B.: When Jan was helping her mother to move, she discovered that her mom had pressed leaves in many of her books. This is a piece that celebrates that discovery.
In the third session of, To Tell a Story with Cloth: Impressions, Connections, and Memories, we focused on Significant Object Portraits. We talked/journaled about how certain objects can have strong connections to memories. They can trigger a memory or be a touchstone. These can be actual objects...but also memories of  "lost" objects...those that no longer exist but still have a strong hold on us.

Ann Z.: Memories of the Beach. Ann used carved blocks, aluminum printing plates/stencils, and moldable foam blocks. Hand stitched details.
Students designed and created a number of print blocks to tell stories about these special objects. They made Speedy Carve Blocks (carved), adhesive-backed craft foam blocks and aluminum pan printing plates, then printed fabrics to use in their story pieces. The Memory Challenge this week was to complete a piece that featured an object that has personal meaning or significance.

Alice A.: The Marketplace. Alice carved a print block, then printed it on two fabrics simultaneously. This is a childhood memory about the marketplace (in Mexico)...the colors and objects and the people.
Alice A.: Alice continued work on this piece from Session #2 by adding stitching.
Jan B.: A carved block and print. Memories of the leaves her mom pressed in books.
Jan B.: Jan is also working on a piece to honor her father. She made some moldable foam blocks using tools, nails, screws and washers.
Jan B.: Jan also did some sun printing at home!
Amy L.: "My piece is about my grandma's pink fuzzy bathrobe and her great hugs! I have really fond memories of her staying with my mom, sister and I when all the guys in our family were hunting or sleeping over at her house. She'd always have her pink fuzzy bathrobe and matching slippers. "
Judith K.-P.: Memories of Japan. Judith has strong memories of the fish market in Tokyo. This piece has many layers and textures. There is crocheted lace (representing coral) hiding under a layer of organza and stitching.
Judith K.-P.: A carved block that Judith is turning into a memory piece about flowers.
Judith K.-P.: Aluminum pan printing plate print of a teapot.
T.T.: Fabrics using print blocks and resists.
Karol L.: Memories of the Eastern Shore. Karol found that trips to the Eastern shore (Delaware and Maryland) renewed her during difficult times and was also a place where she spent many good times with family. 
Karol L.: Karol is putting all her memories together into a piece that she will be able to fold like a book.
Karol L. : Detail showing painted and printed fabrics.
Karol L.: In process. This panel will feature part of the boardwalk at Rehoboth Beach.
Judy M.: This piece is about Judy learning how to sew from her grandmother. She made her first outfit...a blouse and shorts. The fabric surrounding this memory is reminiscent of the lake near her grandparents' home.
Judy M.: A piece of painted and printed fabric that Judy is planning to turn into a memory cloth. We talked about the possible imagery we saw in it. Looking forward to seeing where Judy goes with this fabric!
If you would like to see student work from the first two classes:
Color Connections
Mapping Memories

I'll be teaching this class again this fall (evening class-TBA) at The Art League School in Alexandria, VA. If you'd like more information, please contact me.


  1. Enjoy seeing these so much. What a great idea for starting a piece of art.

    1. Hi Robbie. We've been having a lot of fun...sharing stories...sharing memories. I'm so lucky to have this group to teach!

  2. These are lovely - great theme to work with

    1. Thanks Linda...great students...very adventurous!