September 8, 2012
New Work - Silk Mill #2
New Work! Silk Mill #2 is finished and up on my website. It’s the newest addition to my series The Structures, where I examine and intepret historic buildings. I’m intrigued by the changes that take place over lengthy stretches of time, especially when the structure becomes open to the elements.
I first happened upon this building, the Ashley and Bailey Silk Mill in Columbia, PA, when the roof had partially collapsed and many of the windows had missing panes. It was a brilliant sunny day, and the blue sky shining through the formerly enclosed spaces completely captivated me. I’m also fascinated by the former uses of the building, first as a silk mill and later as a women’s lingerie and garment factory, and all the textile associations that history evokes.
A portion of the building has since been restored, and now serves as a tourist attraction promoting the Turkey Hill Dairy. I’m so happy to be living in an area where historic structures are respected and repurposed.
Above is my photograph that inspired Silk Mill #2. I edited it and had a thermofax screen made, which I then used to screen print the four main images. I also had the image digitally printed on silk yardage by the good people at Spoonflower, and used the yardage for the center cruciform structure and in the patchwork. The result is a bit more abstract and graphic than my usual work, which I think represents the graphic nature of the photograph well.
The size is 35” x 40” wide. Materials are silks and cottons, some hand painted by me. It’s embellished with couched threads and rick rack, and I took the time to do hand beadwork with seed and bugle beads around the main panels.
I’ve rounded up all my posts about this silk mill and added a tab at the top, so you can wander back through the works in progress and see all the amazing and inspirational original photos. Enjoy!
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.
And stay tuned--#3 is on the way.