Friday, July 01, 2011

caput mortuum - a little more detail

now that blogger will finally let me in i can tell you more about my challenge piece. uploading from flickr is better than nothing but doesn't allow for much lyricism.

when the theme 'animal kingdom' was announced i did not want to do something cutesy or representational. then i remembered the great rat battle of 2010 - my backyard looked like the last act of some murine hamlet.....
 and then draped ophelia-like among the violets, was the mummified remains of another victim.

  I printed the photo onto different weights of silk - dupion and organza and planned to use them in the december self-portrait challenge. but it was too painful and i abandoned that scheme for a while.
so this is the planning stage of caput mortuum (which literally means 'dead head' and is a rather brownish red blood colour in artist's materials)
 here it is pinned together before stitching and burning - one of the challenges of this piece was finding a decent adhesive - spray adhesive works the best so far but isn't entirely satisfactory as it doesn't bond the silk entirely to the linen. fusible web i abandoned as it leaves a sticky residue on the sewing machine needle during the free motion stitching as did wet glue.
 here is the finished product -
 i found a piece of red cotton mesh that i had rather unsuccessfully tried to dye black but for the project was just the right shade of caput mortuum
 and it forms the next piece in the self-portrait series - echoing elements of this