We are a group of 20 women, from Australia, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and United States who are interested in challenging our quilting and art skills. We have banded together to challenge ourselves every two months with a different theme or pallet.
I am sorry I did not have time to post about my piece before I left home.
I wanted to capture some of the elements that effect our country and do it with paint and machine embroidery. It was a challenge to me to get the colours right with the painting. I am happy with the results.
The piece is 22inches square or 56cm.
This is fire which see in our country so many times with devastating effects. Flames
flying high into the sky with the bright colours.
We have some of the most beautiful waters and reefs in the world to be found not far from where I live.
The winds with the cyclones that our region experiences so often during parts of the year. Lovely to see the clouds flying past over head when it is not to windy or raining. I have felted wool over the top clouds. . The earth with the beautiful colours with the dry spells that we experience. Australia is know for its fires, floods and droughts. I am lucky I live in a area where we experience a lot of rain, wind and occasionally fire but not the droughts. I enjoyed putting thie piece togerther. Enjoy Delia Australia
Artist's Statement, I spent more time reading various philosophies based on the four earthly elements, than I did creating my interpretation.
I kept coming back to a philosophy that equates air with thought, fire with passion water with serenity and earth as maturity. Musings: fire does not pass through water, fire is reflected in water, thought feeds passion passion falters with serenity thought is in serenity, thought slows and then, no more.
Loose threads, attached with help of wash-away interfacing. on a snippet style background. I too had difficulty with the photographing, what doesn't show well here is the yellow thread 'of air' running through the piece gudrun
I decided to incorporate 3 of the elements in my challenge - air, water, and earth. The landscape is raw edge applique and thread painting. It was inspired by a photo I took of Lake Michigan. The sun was shining on the left side of the picture and that comes across pretty well. I found that the hardest part was stitching all the pieces down. It was a fun project.
I knew I wanted to do another piece in my "geode" series for this challenge. I decided to interpret the theme in a somewhat abstract way, primarily using color and visual texture to suggest each of the elements, so that each section could fold into a unit representing a single element or be reversed and fold into a unit blending all of the elements. Here is the front, with the elements in distinct sections:
And the back where the elements flow together:
And finally the sections folded into 3-D units. I will probably display them this way, either in a bowl or strung on a single cord.
As I was contemplating the Four Elements challenge I remembered a magazine article I read a couple of years ago about fracturing fabric. I located the article and also found a book, Fabulous Fractures by Brenda Esslinger, that described a more detailed, much easier method of completing the fractures. I decided try fracturing photos to represent the four elements.
Four each element I printed 4 copies of the chosen photograph. Earth, air and water were crops of pictures I had taken. The earth photo was from a trip down the Rhine Valley. The air(clouds) and water (glacier) photos were from Jasper National Park. I located the bonfire photo on Wikipedia. It is a photo from FLR002 and can be used with attribution.
After fracturing the pictures I decided to place each picture a compass related to it. I connected the pictures at the corners to show that the elements are connected, but that they also can stand alone.
Well my first thought when this challenge theme was chosen was to do a volcano erupting into an ocean. Scratched that one.
I have been wanting to try weaving strips of fabric, so chose the red for fire, the blue for the water, blacks, and different browns for the earth, and finally the gray for air. I weaved the fabrics in and then used red thread to do free motion stitching.
This was a first for me, I had bought a new Janome 6600 in June and this was the first machine I had that could drop the feed dogs. It is not great free motion, but I liked doing it and am sure I will do more. My piece is 9 by 11.
I chose the landscape to help interpret the four elements.
High above the tree tops the birds glide through the air.
Through man-made error or Mother Nature, fire destroys habitats and what was once a wonderful forest.
Then one day, in what was once a desolate landscape, we see that the earth hides new life.
Many years later comes a day when the trees are again plentiful and where the landscape beside the water is peaceful.
I had had an idea in mind for a long time this challenge. With the forest fires in British Columbia this year coming close to my daughter's home, I was again remembering a CBC short film about a devastating forest fire in northern Ontario where a few people survived by staying in the water (either a lake or river) until the fires burned out.
The following is taken from the Natural Resources web site:
"July 30th  was a frightening day, almost a repeat of the events that had happened only five years previously. This time, the fire consumed nearly 800 square miles of forest, and the toll reached an unheard of 282 official deaths."
Originally, I was going to make just one quilt but I changed my mind and chose to depict the four elements in four separate small pieces. I let my fabrics do the work along with some stenciling and drawing on the fabric.
Maggy's computer is sick, not sure whether it is fatal or not. I have her challenge photos here for show. Forgot to get Maggy to say a bit about her 'Four Elements'.
Her symbols are appliqued onto dyed fabric to represent Earth Wind Water and Fire.
When the challenge was first announced I immediately had a Phoenix in my thoughts and I knew I wanted to do something with one. I did a simple landscape drawing and mirrored it to give me a foundation to build my piece. In each little scene I did my fabrics in monochrome and added heavy black lines to give the feel of stained glass. To highlight the different elements I added color. To finish and give more definition I did some free motion quilting….I think I am growing in this area. My finished quilt is 18 x 22.
Whew the hardest partof this challenge is getting the photos up on the blog........I had different plans for this challenge but it didnt work out as I wished....I returned to my favourite tearing and layering sheer fabrics and net.........
Here's my challenge. I used photos that I'd taken & printed them on TAP. I used Daler Rowney FW Acrylic Artist's Ink to do the lettering with a calligraphy pen and found some Zodiac embroideries I did with my sewing machine. It's about 25"x25" and I'm going to use it for a tabletopper.
I really tried to work with the alchemical elements but my brain kept swerving off toward the actual elements. So I ended up with curvy logs representing four earth elements as building blocks, occurring in veins. This piece is a journal page, hence the odd shape. The backside didn't work out according to plan, but I posted a photo of it on my blog if you'd like to see. I really enjoyed the improvisational piecing and have been working on two additional pieces since finishing this one.
Girls I have to post mine a day early as I am leaving today and may not be able to get onto the computer for a couple of days. I hope you don't mind. I thought it better to do this then not to post for a few days.
I have enjoyed this challenge and look forward to looking at the others.
The Four Ellements
I first dyed the fabric then machine embrodered to make it look like the fire water wind and the earth. A different approach for me but I am happy with the result.