July 29, 2008

Recycled Postcards

I've been a member of Postmark'd Art for years. You can read about the project, see lots of fantastic fiber art postcards, and read articles at the website. (Check out my article on working with heliographic prints!) We are on Round 7 of exchanges, and it just keeps getting better and better. (You can read more about this group and Art2Mail in my interview with The Alliance for American Quilts.) This time around I committed to making my postcards out of recycled materials.

As I work in the studio, I keep a sample quilt next to my machine. It consists of two layers of muslin sandwiching some of my favorite batting. I use it to check thread tension when loading a new thread, to audition stitching motifs, to experiment with couching on threads and yarns, and so on and so forth. Once I have things to my satisfaction I move on to the actual quilt at hand. When the sample quilt gets filled up, I make a new one, but I am always reluctant to toss the old one because there is a lot of interesting, if random, stitching on it.

So this time around I recycled it. I layered it with tulle (recycled from alterations at a bridal shop) to hold down all the loose threads and did some more stitching. I cut it up into the 4" x 6" card format, and added raised motifs. The motifs were the trimmings from the "Canopy of Leaves" cards I had done several years ago, and had saved because I thought they might prove useful. Also because I just liked them.

Here's one of the new cards:
One of the nice things about the being a Postmark'd Art participant, along with the camaraderie and the thrill of cool art showing up in my mailbox, is that it provides an impetus to try out concepts in a small format. As I am currently deeply ensconced in working on not one but two Very Large Quilts, I enjoyed a quick side trip into something achievable in a short time frame. I also enjoyed the departure from my usual stylistic themes. I don't usually work with abstract images, and had fun with the brief flirtation.

Is it art? Quite possibly. It has lines and forms and colors and a focal point. Is it Art with a capital A? Could be--it expresses an concept, even if the concept is simply "let's see what I can make that is interesting/pleasing with materials at hand". At any rate, they are finished and mailed off to all sorts of exotic ports of call, and that's enough.

Here's one of the "Canopy of Leaves" cards that the motifs were trimmed from:

And here's a few more of the Recycled cards:


KarenF said...

Those are really FUN!

Julie Bagamary said...

Sue, these are GREAT! I have some muslin and batting that I use to "Practice" on also. Are you going to put some type of stiffner on the back?

Sue Reno said...

Thanks, Karen and Julie! Yes, I layered them with a piece of fusible peltex to stiffen them.