July 29, 2013
Jack in the Pulpit -- New Work in Progress
A volunteer Jack in the Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum, has been growing in my black currant bed for many years. It’s a native plant here in Pennsylvania, although not a very common one in my experience. At a guess, it got its start in my bed courtesy of a bird that was raiding the currant berries. Over time, it has grown into a large specimen. It’s an interesting plant, in that it’s unisexual--as it matures, it has the resources to produce more and more female flowers.
Here’s another view of it, including Mojo, the neighborhood photobombing cat, to give a sense of perspective.
The flowers, actually spathes, are often green, but in this specimen they developed a wonderful deep maroon coloration with distinctive white stripes. The spathe is the “pulpit”, and the spadix, which is covered with the tiny actual flowers, is the “Jack”. You need to duck under the leaves, where it’s shady and a bit mysterious, to see the spathes and photograph them, which I did quite extensively.
When I decided to make an art quilt celebrating this plant, I started by editing down my photos to a few which I felt would work well as textile prints.
Here is the photograph printed onto cotton sateen, layered with batting, and stitched.
There’s lots more to come; stay tuned!