Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Blemished Beauty, my environmental statement

I was inspired by the Threads of Resistance Contest to make my plea for the environment.  I remember a horrific sight a couple of years ago as I was driving to Midland Texas.  We were driving for miles and miles through the western landscape of cacti, shrubs, and tumbleweeds and they were covered with plastic grocery bags.  I thought then that Midland and Odessa really needed to ban those bags in these cities badly.  Austin, Tx has had the ban for a few years.

Those bags take over 500 years to disintegrate, so unless someone goes out to that 100 miles of open prairie and picks up those bags (very unlikely to happen), then this will be the view for 500 years??  Here's a photo my husband took in West Texas yesterday...

This is just a small amount of bags - see the white stuff in the prickly pears?

So I was inspired to make this piece.  It is called Blemished Beauty.  I found a beautiful landscape photo from Eric at Adobe Stock and made a raw edge applique' quilt of it. I painted some details with Tsukineko inks and thread painted other details.   Then I stitched on little pieces of plastic bags.  DH didn't want me to ruin it with the bags, but that's how I feel about the true landscape, right?  

  Those four cornerstones are from some plastic fabric I made using bags found on my morning nature walks.  I put several layers of plastic together inside a 2 pieces of parchment paper and experimented with melting them together to make a type of fabric.  If the iron was too hot, the plastic just melted away to a small blob.  Too cool and they wouldn't fuse. I did all this outdoors to protect myself from the fumes.  

Then I looked up all the chemicals used in the manufacturing of these bags and quilted them around the inside light brown border.  Everything was heavily stitched on my stationary quilting machine.  

View here if you'd like to see a video of my quilting technique: 

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."  Ansel Adams