Electric Trees

 Previous NextElectric Trees Quilt - Allison Green

Electric Trees
Silk face, polyester interior and backing. Various threads including metallics. Each 12″ x 24″ © Allison Green 2013.

Set of two stitch drawings with ink accents. Based on  a transformer tower. Explores similarities between the natural world and the man-made.

See how it was constructed.
Previously displayed at M&T Deli in Fredericton, NB. #1 sold to private collection, #2 pricing available upon request.
Electric Trees Quilts - Allison Green 9 Electric Trees Quilt Back - Allison Green

Steely growth.

A couple of weeks back I completed a set of thin, elegant quilts. They were an experiment in a number of different techniques, mainly the idea of letting the stitches do the talking. I started out by dyeing my silk with a mottled silvery colour. Using two pictures of a transformer tower taken in uptown Fredericton, I traced the image on with disappearing ink.
Electric Trees Quilts Inspiration - Allison Green_1I then stitched over the lines, mostly with shades of purple. The plan was to use dense zigzag stitches as a sort of satin stitch for the really heavy lines. After I had started I just didn’t think it would look right on the whole piece. Perhaps in the future when some kind soul gifts me an embroidery machine (hint hint).
Electric Trees Quilts - Allison Green 9Instead I did some experiments in painting after it was quilted. I knew I didn’t want to put anything on there that would run with water or humidity, because that would make the piece a pain to care for. I discovered that black ink with a little textile medium could be gingerly painted on and then be washed without incident. Eureka!
Electric Trees Quilts - Allison Green_3(Look familiar? I used a similar photo for Astral Ink)

One problem I ran into was that the disappearing ink did not want to disappear when dabbed with water. I think the difference is that I usually immerse my silk paintings and soap them up good. I didn’t want to dunk the entire quilt so I just wet it out with a cloth until the blue finally stayed away. Anyone have experience with the kind of marker that goes away with air and time alone?
Electric Trees Quilts Inspiration - Allison Green_4Some minor tribulations, but I learned a lot and I really like the outcome here. I am especially fond of how the ink looks when painted in stripes one on top of the other (see bottom right). I find it reminiscent of metal.
Electric Trees Quilts - Allison Green_1For simplicity’s sake I tried binding the quilts by rolling the backing over the edge and stitching in place. I actually found it much more difficult than using bias binding from a separate cloth. Because of the way the cloth draws in when quilted, it effectively gathered my backing fabric in certain areas. The effect is nice but it was not the timesaver I was hoping for.
Electric Trees Quilt Back - Allison GreenMy favourite is the full length Electric Tree on the left because it required almost no ink to get the point across.
Electric Trees Quilt - Allison GreenReally they are a pair and meant to be consumed as such. I think the up-the-skirt view on the right gains a lot by being partnered. Its content is more obvious by association.

These guys are each 12″ x 24″, and are up for sale through M&T Deli.

Inkscape.

Whoever said you need to relax over March break has never spent any time in the window of M&T Deli. A week on a sidewalk in the sun, getting comfy with a space heater and dye all over my hands; that was the only refresher I needed. I love the waving patrons and the confused children. “Why is she up there Mommy? Is she famous?” They really know how to make a girl feel special. Astral Ink Quilt - Allison Green

Not famous just yet, but really starting to get a feel for my art, and that’s even better. I began the week cross-legged on the floor with a huge silk painting. I was concerned it wouldn’t fit (and really it just barely did). The painting had to be almost a foot larger than the 4′ x 3′ mounted piece, just to accommodate the stitchwork and to wrap it around the frame.
Astral Ink Quilt - Allison Green_2I wanted a curvilinear composition this time around to work on my free-motion quilting chops. I came up with the design by messing around in Illustrator with this photo of ink and textile medium:
Astral Ink Inspiration - Allison Green_1It made me think of space, and the fluidity of time. It made me think of eclipses and magnetism. I ran with that concept. And after all, hasn’t space been on everyone’s mind? Hats off to Chris Hadfield and that stealthy Russian meteor.
Astral Ink Quilt - Allison Green_9By Wednesday I had finished painting, and with a little salt for texture, I dried out and steamed the piece. Steaming really sets those Procion dyes into the silk. Then it can be washed out to see what the colours really look like. I was pleasantly surprised that my black came out a purpley tone.
Astral Ink Quilt - Allison Green_7Stitching went along remarkably quickly, considering I am a notoriously slow poke. With Silk Circuit, I had to lift my presser foot to go around corners. With free-motion sewing, you use a presser foot that allows your cloth to move to and fro. You don’t have to stop until you run out of string. In fact, the faster you go the smoother your curves are. I try to concentrate on my breath and let the hands do the work. Pay too much attention and your randomized stitchwork starts looking too orderly.
Astral Ink Quilt - Allison Green_5I used this surreal design as a chance to try out a bunch of different stitching patterns. Stippling for the dark green of space, circles for the red planet, squiggled lines for jupiter and the moon. My favourite of the bunch would be the “ripples in liquid” look for the purple area below. I think this technique has real potential for clothing.
Astral Ink Quilt - Allison Green_3

I decided to build my own frame this time around. It was a whole half as cheap as buying a prefab canvas, and this purchase included a bunch of tools and glue that I will only have to buy once. My mitred corners weren’t what you would call perfect but it’s a whole lot sturdier than the store-bought variety.
Astral Ink Fram - Allison Green

The completed “Astral Ink” is hanging happily in the window, to find its temporary home inside the restaurant very soon. It will be available there for viewing or purchase. I am also now accepting commissions for custom quilts.Astral Ink Quilt - Allison Green_8Thanks to everyone who came out this week, and to M&T Deli for again putting up with the whirring of my sewing machine.

One goes up while the other comes down

The saltscape city has crumbled into the sea, but I’m sure it won’t be my last fling with crystal-making.

The show I took part in at Gallery Connexion, called “The View”, came down today. It was mostly for students at my school. I had a few pieces in it that I made last year while taking the Foundation Visual Arts program:

The piece below is a ceramic lizard eye. The nice lady who runs the gallery told me it looks like a vagina. Go figure.

This one is a cross-contour pomegranate I made from pen and ink in my first ever drawing class. One of my prouder moments.

This is a piece I made for art history, inspired by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. It is probably the largest painting I’ve made, and includes gouache, acrylic, acrylic gel, and copper foil. I painted it from a photograph of my very lovely and patient boyfriend, Warren. He is not quite as creepy-looking in real life.

The next thing I have on tap is the textiles show at the college. The poster was finalized this week. Perhaps a little more pinky than I would have chosen, but certainly eye-catching. It reminds me of a fairy tale landscape.

It`s going to be a beautiful show. I am lucky to be in a small department with exclusively talented people. It raises the bar for my own work and they are a constant source of knowledge and inspiration.

Having a little trouble deciding what to put in. I can submit three pieces for consideration. My paper quilt is a given, and I`m working on a mixed media nursery rhyme collection I have high hopes for. Other than that, either my digitally printed pillow, my dino screen prints, or my blimps and balloons pattern croquis. I`ll post them up here this weekend and you fine people can help me decide.