Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Medieval Tiles

Sometimes in our lives we have those perfect moments of intersection between our dreams, reality and artistic expression.  I love to travel and tread where generations have gone before.  A perfect day sees me meandering along ancient walkways and absorbing the atmosphere of times past.  When my husband and I travelled to Italy with friends, they came back exclaiming all their pictures had broken buildings.  I dream of walking along the tiled pathways as well in other parts of Europe.  There is an awe in touching something that was created by hand centuries ago, delighting in the design and beauty produced by another.  In our quest for  creative inspiration we often look to the past and build upon it.  Working on my medieval tiles is just such a journey.  I saw a short vidcast of Yvonne Brown and it was like a jumpstart in my brain. She also creates textiles using ancient stonework as inspiration. Thus began my exploration in the use of felt to emulate the designs on medieval tiles in Ireland and Wales.  The process involves colouring the felt by either dyes or paints, drawing the designs on tearaway stabalizer, creating a sandwich of drawing, background fabric (wrong side to stabalizer), and wrong side of felt to background fabric.  The drawing is then stitched through all the layers.  I then turn over my sandwich and burn away the felt where I do not want it.  I have found that Kunin Felt burns away with less fumes and smooth edges.  I then piece borders around this prepared tile piece, layer and quilt as any wallhanging.  Some pieces are then distressed with a heat gun to further the appearance of age, embossed and possibly touched up with paint.

Medieval Tiles 1
Tiles from Welsh Archaelogical sites
Detail of Medieval Tiles 1

Lions Rampant
Currently part of the Atlantic SAQA Trunk Show
San Marco Stonework is influenced by stonework
found on the side of San Marco Cathedral in Venice, Italy
This unfinished piece is at the stage for layering and quilting.