|"Waiting for Kelly" ©2015, 40" x 48"|
Apologies for being so late with this piece. I got totally swept up in it and it kept going and going - and now I feel like it's time to walk away.
I searched my soul for ideas for unconventional materials and finally settled on a variety of papers - - tissue paper, Abaca paper (made from the leaf-stems of of a banana species - - thank you, Judy Coates Perez for suggesting and supplying), and lokta (made from inner bark of evergreen shrubs).
The cycle is from a photo I took at the San Francisco Airport of a bicycle exhibit while "Waiting for Kelly", my oldest son, to arrive from Sweden. It is a 1941 Schwinn Admiral - a stunning bicycle! I wanted to try to mimic the glass and reflections of the case it was shown in. The abaca was perfect to create the text-type images and the bits of reflections. The tissue paper was a great palette for plate glass and reflections.
Where I went wrong was in fusing the tissue paper and abaca to a background of salvaged table cloth linen and silk curtains. The entire background was covered with organza and quilted in blocks with straights lined every 1/8". The non-woven and the woven materials behaved totally different when they were quilted and left me with a rippled background. So, after considering a variety of solutions, I decided to make the best of it for now and just fuse the collaged bike directly to the background. And that is where I have left it. I am reticent to sew it further, for fear the paper won't hold up being manipulated through the machine, but perhaps some hand-stitched spokes can be added.
I had a great time creating the piece! Thanks, Betty, for a great challenge!