I have been working on my latest piece for the past month and am relieved that is was finished just before the required deadline of August 31st. This is the third of these draped art quilts I have made and I am really beginning to better understand and enjoy the nature of creating work that has no definite form or end. Combining and stitching long strips of fabric and then allowing gravity to become part of the creative process means I have far less control over their final form. It is interesting to note that although each of the three pieces has started out with virtually the same component parts, they have each taken on their own passing form once hung. It also means that although I have taken a photograph of this piece - it will never look the same again, as next time it is suspended gravity will undoubtedly make it look a little different.
The colour of glacial ice is a magical thing - we are used to pure water being colourless and snow and ice being white but glacial ice is a lot different from the stuff we get out of the freezer. This ice has been in situ for such long time that it has become ultra compacted, so much so that its crystaline structure absorbs all wavelengths of light except blue, which is strongly scattered by the ice crystals.
In addition, glacier ice contains many air bubbles which become severely squeezed by the high pressures within the dense ice. These bubbles are not always round and can be squeezed into long rods, flat planes and can even move around within the solid ice. Because of these small bubbles some areas of the ice can also take on a coarse, bubbly appearancewith small bubbles, especially near the ablation areas of a glacier where evaporation or melting take place. In contrast, coarse clear ice is free of bubbles and is the bluest ice of all. This kind is usually found near the margins and terminus of a glacier.
To capture these various colours I used turquoise and black dye and then added pleats, layers and stitch to add shadows and changes in value.
For the whiter, coarser bubbly ice I explored crocheting a variety of recycled fibres - recycled jeans, dishcloths, merino wool and an unknown fibre from a garment I unravelled.
To complete the piece I wound more than a kilometer of the same recycled fibres into cords to drop from the fabric swags to pool onto the ground.
There are more images of this piece on my website in the portfolio section, or by clicking the following link and scrolling down the page:www.clairepassmore.com/water.html
Thanks for reading. Keep well.