I think of my work as a collaboration between me and the materials I use.
When I was in art school and taking sculpture classes, I found that I liked using materials that had some resistance. Materials that brought something unique to them into the process. So I guess it was natural that I eventually began working with found objects.
And in a way, I’m still doing that with the repurposed fabric that fills the shelves in my studio.
Sometimes a piece of that fabric inspires a whole new idea. And other times, it feeds an idea I bring to it.
That’s what happened with the hand-embroidered flowers that Carolyn gave to me. (I believe she told me her mother made them.)
I started with the idea of one crying eye, watering one flower. In my search through my linens and fabrics to find the right backing for the piece, I came across the embroidered flowers.
It wasn’t what I was looking for, and yet….
I put the flowers in a pile with some older hand-embroidered linens, and when I looked through them all again, the flowers stood out.
But I couldn’t picture one crying eye, and all those flowers. That’s when I saw more than one eye. Many eyes, like clouds raining, like individual creatures, insects or sea urchins, each with their own chain of tears.
This morning the flowers called to me and I began working.
First I stitched the eyes in a deep blue tread. I gave each pupil a crescent moon.
I made the iris’ the colors of the flowers.
Then I stitched the tears.
I still have some work to do on the eyelids and lashes. I feel like I have more than one of these inside of me. A series. They are cathartic to create and I can imagine making them using some of the other linens that I have.
I’ll sell the originals, and reproduce them all to make cards or postcards or magnets.