Quilted Clay Series: A study in color and pattern
This work started long ago. As a child I’d piece together leftover bits of fabric and make small textile pictures. Periodically I’d return to this through the years. Then, after IrmMaria, I found myself making improv quilts again, finding it rewarding and therapeutic.
The point of the story is that I discovered my clay work and quilts were similar in process, color and design. The concept of quilted clay emerged, and I began pairing the two techniques into a body of work. Just as I color my white clay with pigments, I dyed cottons, linens and silks with natural pigments: indigo, madder, osage, cochineal, iron, weld, henna. The fabrics were dyed in the summer of 2018, before I started the ceramic pieces. Fabric stashed, I started working on the vessels in August. Months later, I realized the color palettes of the fabrics and the vessels were the same.
The vessels are made by piecing bits of colored clay together in the nerikomi technique I’ve been working with for the past 6 years. It is the same concept as a pieced quilt: small bits of color “stitched” together to form a design. There are numerous processes involved, and much time spent. Each piece is the culmination of many months of work. Some of the patterns reflect traditional quilting design, others are geometric, organic or random. My work is very spontaneous.