July 11, 2011

Art Quilts made with Indian Silks

Since I’ve been posting a series of my mid-70’s vintage India photos, in preparation for a return trip to have adventures and procure textiles, I wanted to share more of the impetus for the trip--the beautiful textile works made possible by the exquisite silks of India.  I have a particular fondness for silks manufactured in the Mysore region of Karnataka, India.  The were my first introduction to silk--not a fabric common in my childhood--and remain my favorite because of their luminescence and “hand”, the way they feel and drape.  I posted previously about the silks, and a factory in Bangalore that produces them, here.  Today I am featuring just a few of the works I have made using them.  All of the pictures enlarge when you click on them, and the links take you to my website where there are detail views.
Poke Salad was the first quilt I made using the cyanotype process that I have come to love and rely upon for much of my imagery. The center panel is very complex, with a variety of leaves depicted and enhanced by hand embroidery.  I wanted to enhance the panel with simple shapes and a wealth of color, and the Mysore silks worked out perfectly.  Because of their luster and intensity, all the colors play nicely together without losing their separate identity.
Sweetgum in Autumn is another of my earlier works, again using a cyanotype image that I hand embroidered.  Sweetgum trees are unique in that their autumn foliage can vary on any individual tree from yellows and reds, through to oranges and even purple tones. I used those colors of silks to construct informal log-cabin style blocks that bring the deep sparkle of the oblique autumn sunlight into the piece.
In Royal Paulownia, I again used a log cabin format to construct blocks, this time mixing the silks with handspun and hand-woven Indian cottons to provide a wonderful contrast of tones and textures.
For Reed Run, I kept the construction uncomplicated, and let the silks and the hand-woven cotton, along with a deep, rich woolen, reflect the serenity of a walk in the deep woods along a sparkling stream. 
Silks add depth and character to the random patchwork that forms part of the construction of my huge Plume Poppy.
Purple and green silks , along with hand-wovens and fabrics that I hand painted, are an integral part of one of my newest works, Columbine.
I hope you have enjoyed this mini tour of my art quilts, and invite you to visit my website for many more examples of how high quality textiles like Mysore silks form an integral part of my body of work.


Pat's Place said...

Love Sweetgum in Autumn and Reed Run! Your work continues to thrill and amaze me!

Allison Ann Aller said...

All I can say, truly, is Good God Almighty! They are everything a quilt should be...

Franki said...

Your work is amazing Sue. I have wrongly assumed that those fabrics were cotton. Thanks for setting me straight. I can see that you will need to take empty luggage with your for this trip.

Linda Teufel said...

Love your work and it's lovelier in silk. Do you have silk unraveled book by Lorna moffat?