Thursday, December 19, 2013

Leaf Song

I finished my second artist book yesterday for The Thread That Weaves, that terrific online class I've been taking.  This piece, devoted to fallen leaves, is called Leaf Song.  Finished size is 18 x 6 inches opened.  Here's a detailed description of what I did...

The substrate is 140# watercolor paper that was gessoed on both sides.  After drying, I covered the outside with my all-time favorite home decor fabric, best seen in the last photo below.  I love this fabric so much, I've got it in numerous places around my home, including a standing lamp that I covered with it.  Back to the book ~ the inside was aged with acrylic paint.  Rather than hand stitching a single line of thread on this book (the thread that weaves) as I did on the first one, I machine stitched the leaf patterns on the outer fabric.  You can see a little of this in the last photo.  That stitching is also the source of the fine copper threads hanging off from all sides of the book.

The pages, three inside and two outside, began as torn pieces of tea-stained patterned raw silk that I stiffened with matte medium.  The three inner pages then had torn pieces of a vintage linen ecodyed handkerchief hand stitched on; then I hand stitched a leaf cut from a piece of ecodyed rayon; then stitched on a sprinkling of seed beads.

The center leaf, above, was really light in color although otherwise perfect.  So I cut an additional leaf, backed it with other ecodyed fabric, used cotton flannel for a batting, and hand quilted it.  The outer leaf is merely tacked on at the bottom of the stem so it can be lifted up.

I typed the text myself, on the wide margins of an old book page.  Hand typed with a typewriter on old paper makes the text look like it came from a book.  The story reads, "On a path, in the woods, I came across three fallen angels.  I rescued them."

The tiny inner book has covers of a small piece of that stiffened raw silk mentioned above, on which I stitched paper and organza leaves, held in place with a single seed bead.  The interior pages are small bits of ecodyed paper and rice paper, both sides of which have leaf images created via rubbing plates and Neocolor I metallic crayons.  Neocolor I are Caran D'Ache's wax crayons; Neocolor II are their watercolor crayons.


The two digital images are my own photos from several years ago, photoshopped including changing the colors.  I printed the images on a transparency, then transferred to ecodyed silk organza with alcohol.  I had a piece of newsprint beneath the fabric, and because organza is gauzy and there isn't much fabric for the ink to hold on to, the newsprint picked up the rest.  In fact, I removed the organza after transferring, and kept burnishing the image onto the newsprint, so each image gave me two good transfers.  I layered each set on the final pages so they have a 3-D effect.

The digital images were fused together (I used Wonder Under; MistyFuse would work as well), then fused onto the page, then the page was fused to the book.  Likewise, all pages were fused to the book itself.

The center of the back has a hand quilted leaf from another piece of the foundation fabric, also fused to the backing.  The final embellishment are the organza leaves ~ the two in the back are held in place with a single bead.  The four in front are attached individually to a short length of ribbon attached at the top of the book so it hangs loose.  Voila!

18 comments:

tgarrett said...

Beautiful book Connie- stunning actually!!!

Charlton Stitcher said...

This is lovely - and I' sure I should take time to read your post carefully as I'm sure really useful things are hidden deep within! After Christmas, I will come back and enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

Maggi said...

Connie, this is just so beautiful.

Dandelion and Daisy said...

A beautiful and sensitive piece of art! Roxanne will be teaching a one day workshop at the Woodburn Art Center on March 22. That's Woodburn, Oregon.....not that far away! I wish you could join us.

KrisR said...

VERY cool. And absolutely gorgeous. I'll be bookmarking it to come back later to study it. My journal has been calling me lately......

Jeannie said...

Oh Connie!!! This is gorgeous! I too have to come back and re-read this once I get Christmas out of my head. I absolutely love what you have created. You have inspired me to put all this Mrs. Claus crap to the side and indulge in this class. I hope it offered again, soon. Have a wonderful evening.

Sandy said...

How wonderful it is.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

This is a lovely book ... I'm so fond of the fabric choices, the scattered beads and the beautiful threads. Colors are pretty wonderful too!

Finishing Lines by K.Sperino said...

This is lovely Connie.

Finishing Lines by K.Sperino said...

This is lovely Connie.

rivergardenstudio said...

Oh my gosh Connie, Leaf Song is truly a work of beauty. I love the words, and how the leaves are the fallen angels in this story.
Thank you for being a part of this workshop, and for sharing your thoughtful process with us. Your details inspire us all.
Happy Holidays to you,
roxanne

Meg Fowler said...

Sigh ---I'm just drooling! Gorgeous!!!

Jacki Long said...

Wow! .......................... (long pause)
Exquisite, wonderful, words fail.
Truly a work of art! Wow!

john said...

Terry got it right, STUNNING! Good show, Connie!

Irene said...

I think you have a success on your hands, Connie. That sure as heck is a nice piece of artwork. Can I be in your last will so I will inherit all of your work? Or better yet, leave it to an art museum. xox

jenclair said...

Beautiful work, and I love the title!

jan b. said...

This is a lovely book creation. I particularly like the spread that contains the little booklet insert.

Living to work - working to live said...

Constance - just found you and I'm blown away. Stunning!!