Saturday, 27 July 2013

Unveiling 1 Samuel 3:16

Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

This is the distressed cheesecloth which I painted with acrylic inks

painted cheese cloth

This white cotton is painted with textile paints and is going to be the background. I want to place it underneath the painted cheese cloth so the colours will influence each other and will show through the holes. Hope it will work!
dark background painted with textile paints
 This is a close up from my drawing with stitching added
face drawing close up with stitching added

It's very visible how the 2 painted fabrics change colour, exactly as I hoped it would do!
detail with cheese cloth placed over painted background

Another detail where I added gold foil to represent the taking away of the Ark by the Philistines
detail with gold foil representing captivitiy of the Ark

And here the full piece. I tried to express how in midst of all the dreadful events, Samuel obeyed the Lord. And as His faithful servant he came when Eli called him, to tell him what the Lord had revealed to him.
1 Samuel 3:16

This was quite a journey. A lot of experimenting and trial and error. I thoroughly enjoyed the process. It was a real challenge to express all the destruction shown to Samuel: death of Eli, death of his sons, Ark into captivity, war and death. And to still make a beautiful piece.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The making of 1 Samuel 3:16

 1 Samuel 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

For the past 3 weeks I have been designing, thinking, erasing, re-designing, experimenting with the concept of this verse.
In verse 1 of chapter 3 we read that visions of God were infrequent in those days; thus it was a special honour for Samuel to receive a Divine message. God called him 3 times and told Samuel all that was going to happen to Eli and his family and to all Israel.

God says in verse 11 that He will be sending a terrible punishment to Israel in the years to come, something so terrible that it will "make everybody's ears tingle." This refers to the capture of the Ark by the Philistines, as described in the next chapters. The religious life of Israel has reached a truly abominable state under the corrupt leadership of Eli's sons (2:17, 22), and Eli's attempt at reprimanding them has had no effect (2:24, 25). Their rejection of God is unforgivable (verse 14).

Samuel is only a young boy (probably around 12 years old), when he received this terrible message. He has to tell Eli that his sons will die, that Eli himself will die and that the Ark is going to the enemies.

Eli surely anticipates the worst, because he has already been warned (2:33). He then calls Samuel and Samuel answers: Here am I. This is the verse I have to visualize.

I see a boy, who has to deliver an awful message to the high priest who has been a father to him. He has to hold nothing back.

I made a very rough sketch where I want to show the boy Samuel as a faithful servant of God. Around him (background) is the terrible judgement.
sketch of Samuel 3:16

This is a piece of cheese cloth which I felted last year and haven't done anything with I thought if I use the back side and tear it up, make holes in it etc. It could make a suitable background.

felted cheese cloth

disstressed cheese cloth
Add caption

In the meantime I thought about a sheet of lutradur which could also work. I burned holes in it with a soldering iron and tried if it would hold acrylic paints. It did, but the result is not what I had in mind.
burned holes in lutradur with soldering iron

Then...the boy Samuel. I drew this with inktense pencils, but he looked too 'girlish', so I changed his hair a bit...but still not entirely happy with it....
inktense pencil drawing of Samuel
 Since I would like to incorporate my family into these pieces. I found this photo of Dieuwe, our second son, when he was about 12 (excuse the rat ;-)).  I played with Picmonkey to get the shading and shapes to pop out so I could draw more easily. I am not a very good drawer
photo of Dieuwe

, but I like this boy
inktense pencil drawing of Dieuwe's face aka Samuel

Then I got my acrylic inks out and painted the distressed cheese cloth
acrylic inks on distressed cheese cloth

Up to the next stage now: planning to do some quilting around the boy and finding a way of putting it all together.....And where and how to get the verse on it. It will be a challenge, but I hope that it will turn out good!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Unveiling Ruth 3:16

This is the result of my attempt to produce a stained glass effect in fabric. The sky fabrics are hand painted, the other fabrics are commercial prints from my stash. Normally quilting should enhance the look, but this time I feel it almost looked better without quilting.
I used an invisible monofilament thread to quilt the sky pieces. Unfortunately you see little punch holes which takes away from the clean lines.

Over all I like this piece and it portrays what I had in mind. Ruth (my daughter modelled for the silhouette), returning early in the morning walking through the barley fields (hence the face faced to the left). Barley at the foreground to represent the gift from Boaz. And a green background for the hope and joy now and in the future.

Someone asked me how long it takes me to design and make one piece. It differs for each one, but on average it takes me about 20 hrs. This one is no exception.

Ruth silhoutte in stained glass, made from fabric

Ruth returning to Naomi, walking through barley fields. Mounted on canvas
Mounted on canvas

Friday, 5 July 2013

Contemplating Ruth

The next verse is Ruth 3:16 And when she came to her mother in law, she said, Who art thou, my daughter? And she told her all that the man had done to her.

Most people probably know the story: Naomi who leaves Bethlehem with her husband and two sons to Moab. Both husband and sons die and she returns to Bethlehem with her daughter in law Ruth. Ruth marries Boaz and becomes known as King David's great grandmother. And ultimately she is in the lineage of Christ the Saviour.

I love the book of Ruth, but to represent this verse into fabric proved not to be so easy....Usually I don't like to be too realistic, I really enjoy symbols and a more symbolic-abstract approach.

Sometimes inspiration comes from words, or pictures. Or at other times I like to try a certain technique. A while ago I was looking at stained glass windows and Tiffany glass. So I have set myself the task of creating a stained glass look. There has to be a woman in the picture too...unavoidable..What better way to get my family into this project? Anne Roos, our 16 year old daughter is the first one. I took a couple of silhouette pictures and traced them.

I am envisioning Ruth coming back early in the morning from the threshing-floor and Boaz. She returns with barley and the knowledge that Boaz is going to see who can marry her. Therefore I see the picture of a woman returning past the fields with a smile on her face, happy to tell Naomi all that Boaz has done to her!

Ruth in stained glass window
The lay out for all the 'stained glass' pieces

fabrics for sun rise

The colour scheme for the sky should be of a sunrise. I put all may blues, purples, oranges, yellow together, but I thought it quite harsh. I therefore decided to get a white cotton out wetted it. I painted the wet fabric with acrylic inks and now it has a more subtle, softer look. I hope it dries nicely!
painted acrylic inks on wet fabric for sun rise look

And yes it's did! I used Heat n Bond to cut out the 'puzzle pieces'. It's an adhesive with a paper backing, so you iron it on and then peel off the paper so you can iron it on to any other fabric.
heat n bond to cut out stained glass puzzle pieces
cutting out pieces for the sky

And placing them on back fabric, making sure the outline of Ruth is visible. So far so good :)

tiffany look with silhouette