Thursday, May 9, 2013

An Experiment With Plaster, Watercolors, Fabric and Embroidery.. Or Fresco Embroidery..

Ever since I dived into Plaster Studio: Mixed-Media Techniques for Painting, Casting and Carving, I've been experimenting with adding plaster to my repertoire. I have absolutely loved including plaster into my work, but I've been searching for ways to marry it with fabric. In the book there are a few projects that use it with burlap to create some beautiful pieces, but it wasn't quite me. I didn't want the fabric to simply be a substrate, I wanted it to breathe and have a relationship with the final piece. I have a number of ideas I want to explore with different fabrics and types of plaster (gesso, joint compound, plaster of paris, etc), but I'm so excited and I wanted to share my first piece with you.

This piece started with a single piece of linen and was frosted with a thin layer of joint compound. Once it set, I painted the background with a wash of watercolors. Then with perle cotton, I embroidered a primitive design of two homes. To add stability and color to the project, the piece was then deconstructed and hand sewn on to another piece of linen. Once it was secure, I free motioned it all together with a flannel batting and heavy canvas back.

It is delicate, simple and thoughtful. This piece is a gift and has a long story behind it.

It is the start to hopefully many more "fresco embroideries". I love the texture and fragility of it, though I hope I can find the right combination that will allow more detailed embroidery without impacting the plaster too much.

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