Posts tagged ‘silk’

Hot silk dyes, cool results

Experimenting with new processes in color makes for a really fun collection of spring scarves!

16 April 2010 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Iconography 202

hotpink5 This pink and cream colored goddess scarf is fun and funky with its splashes of bright green. I think of Durga as a secret protector — it’s always a good idea to keep her image in the office. I’ve used Durga in her incarnation as Kali, the terrible mother, goddess of change and time. Kali is shown here in her fiercest apparition, standing on a vanquished enemy, with hands holding some of her attributes: the snake for regeneration, fire for cleansing, head of enemy represents avenging action, and scimitar an instrument of change(!). Kali/Durga is sacred to women, Kali because it is women who respond best to change — as birth-givers, as washers of the dead, and as witnesses to illness and destruction. Sometimes Kali is described as silkscreen standing on the body of her consort, Shiva, in which case Shiva represents consciousness while the fierce Kali is energy manifest. The stories of the Hindu gods are as complicated as the relationships between men and women!

This scarf was recently sold at The Joyful Jewel in Pittsboro, NC.  To see more of my silk paintings, please visit my Etsy shop

I’ve been cutting goddess Scherenschnitte as ornaments, too.  I think they’re great fun! You can see all of them on my TalkingDog website.

     

23 December 2008 at 12:26 am Leave a comment

More on Iconography

Mariah of The Joyful Jewel in Pittsboro, North Carolina, asked me to give her some background on the motifs I use in my silk paintings.  I thought I’d share that information with my blog readers.

Elegant Silk Crêpe Shawl

SumerianCylinderSeal

huge2 Although the description of the original Sumerian cylinder seal says the priestesses are bringing a worshipper to god, I think of them as women supporting each other in community. The eagle (not shown in this view) is a protective spirit and has played the historic role of carrying one’s prayers to the sky. The oak leaf is a symbol of strength and longevity.

I have always had a love for the first historic cultures.  Even though I’m 30 years past youthful idealism, I still have no interest in history when it’s taught as battle dates and cultural dominance. I think that the real story is found in the way a culture uses the natural world to establish itself, develops ways of communication, and creates a vision of its place in the world. I envy the peoples for whom beauty is part of everyday life and imagine a time when people were profoundly sure that they were of the earth, not simply on it.  The stories that survive generations are those of people doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do, what the gods expect, and what upholds a family’s honor.

This piece is hand painted using the serti, or fence, method of using resist to draw the design. The silk is stretched like canvas and painted with a paintbrush using professional silk dyes. This is a work of art: no two paintings are ever alike. The dyes are set for colorfastness, the resist is removed, and the scarf is washed to restore the hand, or feel, of the silk. This one feels gorgeous. frame1

Here’s an example of a stretched piece of silk in process.  I use a stretcher frame designed and marketed by Susan Moyer.

You may see many more examples of my silk paintings at my shop at Etsy.

21 December 2008 at 3:33 pm 4 comments


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