January 20, 2014

New Work – Jack in the Pulpit

I am pleased to share my latest work, Jack in the Pulpit, as part of my ongoing series of art quilts The Woods.
Jack in the Pulpit, by Sue Reno
 Arisaema triphullum is a favorite wild plant, and is native to Pennsylvania.  The plants have an interesting life cycle—when young, their flowers are male, but after several years, if conditions are good and the plant has built up reserves, it starts producing female flowers. 
Jack in the Pulpit, by Sue Reno, detail 1
The flower, technically a spadix, is the “Jack”, and the spathe, or curved hood, is the “Pulpit”  They can vary widely in coloration, from pale to boldly striped, and are generally hidden beneath the three leaved foliage.  They are pollinated by flies, and produce cool looking bright red seed pods.
Jack in the Pulpit, by Sue Reno, detail 2 I have a volunteer clump of them that moved up from the woods into my currant bed, where I’ve let them do their thing.  They got huge, and produced dark maroon red striped spathes.  I took a lot of pictures one year when they were particularly fine, then things progressed, as they often do, and I started making prints and contemplating a suitable quilt.  It took me several years to make the cyanotype prints, and then the heliographic prints, because I didn’t want to stress the plant by harvesting too many leaves at once.
Jack in the Pulpit, by Sue Reno, detail 3
This is a large quilt, five feet high by six feet wide, and there’s a lot going on, as befits a large and complex plant. I used a wide variety of silks, and some vintage cottons of extremely high quality, and the total effect is very vibrant and glowing.
To track this back as a work in progress, click the Jack in the Pulpit tab on the right sidebar, or click here.

An image from Jack in the Pulpit is featured in the current (March 2014) issue of American Quilter magazine, to accompany a profile article about me, “The Hand of the Maker”, written by Marjorie Russell.   The issue is now on its way to subscribers, and will be on newsstands on February 4th. Please stay tuned for more images and information!


Pat's Place said...

I've been waiting for this one! The early glimpses had me excited and I'm not at all disappointed in the final result! Absolutely brilliant piece of work! These plants are among my favorite wild flowers, along with Lady's Slippers & Trillium.

This quilt seems to glow, even in the photograph. The depth of color & stitching creates a wondrous effect! Thanks so much for sharing - hope to see it in person one day. No doubt it will be an award winner!!!

Allison Aller said...

How I wish I could see this one up close and personal. What a long term committment! It is a fabulous work, Sue. Congratulations!

Anni Matsick said...

A glorious tribute to this fascinating small plant. You've created a treasure, Sue!

KAM said...

Sue, this creation in cloth and thread is wonderful. The focus on one, lovely, visually intriguing plant using a palette that heightens the impact of every small area in the work of art.. is exquisitely presented. The choice of fabrics adds much depth to the overall composition, the use of the cyanotype prints and the tiny details you have surrounding the leaves all combine to the resulting most wonderful fiber piece. Kristin

Sue Reno said...

Wow, thanks for kind and supportive comments! This one was a pleasure to create, and now it's a pleasure to send it out into the world.