Sunday, January 17, 2016

Chalice challenge

 I had no idea it was going to be that tricky.

When I learned that there was to be an image of a chalice, and not just any chalice, but a particular chalice, on the nape of the neck of the liturgical stole I'm making, I thought, no problem, I'll just take a photo of the chalice, and print it out, and cut out the shape and use it trace it onto dark blue fabric and use paints for the highlights.

Wrong.  SO wrong.

Okay, that didn't work, I thought.  So I'll try thread painting on silk.  I'll just take that chalice shape and trace it onto some beautiful dark blue silk and use thread to outline the shape and fill in the highlights.  And it will be beautiful.

Again:  Wrong.

Nevertheless, I sewed some of these silk images to a background, and was appalled at the results.

Okay, I thought, I'll just practice my thread painting.  Maybe it just takes practice and a steady hand.  So I switched to dark blue synthetic, because it's much less shreddy than silk, and I traced that chalice outline, and I practiced and practiced.

Again:  No.  Just NO.
OK, no problem, I thought, I'll just recreate that image with hand embroidery.

No.  No no no no no.

Surprised at these crude results, I considered two other options.  One would be recreating the image of the chalice on fabric with Inktense pencils.  The other would be using photo transfer to print the image onto fabric, from which it could be appliqueed onto the stole.

I tried the Inktense pencils first.  I treated the fabric with GAC 900, a medium that makes fabric more hospitable to pigment.  When it dried, I recreated the image onto the fabric with Inktense pencils, moistened with more GAC 900 to bring out the colors.

Finally, finally, finally, an image that doesn't embarrass me. So it will be.  I've now recreated this image onto the nape of the neck of both sides of the stole (spring/autumn and winter/summer)

It's been a lot of trial and error, requiring all my studio time over a period of  about two days.

I had no idea it was going to be this tricky.