Expressions in BLUE

My stitch sister and fabulous fiber friend Ife Felix has been creating fashion pieces inspired  by African textiles and styles for decades. Her current muse is Indigo from Guinean; meticulously hand tied or sewn cotton brocade that is then dyed the deepest blue. Ife’s 2018-19 trip to the continent netted her a trunk full of fabric and inspiration as deep as the indigo’s hue. I have jumped into the blue waters as well, creating a few wearable works of my own which include  her fabric acquisitions.

Working in a fashion that I repeat periodically, bold boleros of distinction, I’m creating patchwork jackets and many will contain fabric acquired from Guinea through Ife. Some will be of the dialogue on indigo  while others feature silks from a variety of cultures. These jackets are considered wearable art and are part of my “When My People Get The Blues” series. 

Jacket #1, 2019

Jacket #1, 2019

When My People Get the Blues” is an evolving series of works in a variety of mediums by Laura R. Gadson that explore colors, moods and cultured expressions birthed by hued people of the world.

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Swing Top with pockets from Ife Felix’s Guinea Collection #2

Connecting Concepts

Though they do not play well in the same studio space working with glass (for me) can be a lot like working with fabric. At the end of different projects you inevitably end up with bits of material left over. Glass is such a more expensive medium to work in that it behoves one to think like a quilter and find projects that use all the leftovers. I find myself creating an artistic voice by simple vowing not to waste valuable supplies. Almost every piece of glass needs to have a life past it’s originally purchased purpose. 

Also relevant is the idea of a stash. All quilters have a stash of fabric to select from when creating quilted works. One of the great joys of this art form is hunting down the perfect fabric for an idea or just collecting fabric that you love. With glass the stash building is slower and more methodical especially since the stuff costs so dang much. Costs vary by color and production method just like with paint and fiber.  One constant in the stash building is the event of “Sale” and any time you can get more for your dollar is a reason to make an unforeseen purchase. 

So I am finding that just because I am working in an unrelated medium  relationships in my creative heart and mind that are constant.   Even in glass I am piecing materials together, using appliqué where it is most effective (enamel paint in the case of glass) and enjoying the process of collecting raw materials. All artistic journeys seem to be preparation for the next creative jaunt!

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Left over pieces glass from previous projects.

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Fused glass Cameo plate utilizing new and leftover glass.