Friday, June 10, 2016

- Something old, something new

I've been reading Terry Tempest Williams recently and the first chapter of her book Finding Beauty in a Broken World really impressed me. Even though it was about historical mosaic making, it had strong parallels with patchwork (and right now I'm grinning to myself knowing some of you have probably seen Hazel Monte's blog post today).

One quote in particular jumped out at me, so much so that I wrote it down on a scrap of paper ...


Then stitched it into a nine-patch ...

Patch #154-156

Patch #157-159

Patch #160-162

which I have a habit of stitching thusly ...


The patches are all linen, created last November during Maura Ambrose's workshop. They were all mordanted with alum and some with tannin ... then dyed with either Old World madder (the four light patches) or New World cochineal (the five dark patches).

In reading Delena Tull's Edible and Useful Plants of the Southwest, I shook my head in wonder that both ancient Native American and Indo-European dyers discovered how to utilize the same mordants (and others as well).

Stitching the patches, I reflected further on the traditional nine-patch quilt block versus my own idiosyncratic method of stringing patches together in strips. 

Quoting again from Finding Beauty ... the words of a modern day mosaicist made sense to me:

"We create the future through a rearrangement of forms, what we have learned from the past."

I'm still learning.

4 comments:

Dana said...

The range of colors you achieved with the two dyes are captivating together. I love how natural dyes never clash. Also, you have chosen a good quote for your linear nine-patch... it mirrors the various harmony of the cloth.

Liz Ackert said...

What doesn't show, but I know you know, is the incredible variation within each cloth. This too echoes Finding Beauty which states "The play of light is the first rule of mosaic."

Velma Bolyard said...

this is wonderful!

Liz Ackert said...

Thank you ... this quote fits so many art forms. The more I think about it, the more I like it.