Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lenna's Prayer Flag Swap

Back in July I signed up for Lenna Andrews' prayer flag swap. At the time, I was in some serious denial about how long it would take me to get my studio functional in my new home.
As the deadline (September 15th) approached, I was still up to my neck in boxes, and had to set-up a worktable and pull together some supplies on the fly.

 I ended up with brightly colored, multi-layered flags in a theme of "Home Sweet Home."
Detail of the "Home Sweet Home" prayer flag.

Here's a quick summary of what I used and what I did.

Materials: duck canvas, felt, fabric, thread, acrylic paint, permanent marker, rick-rack, sewing machine.

Techniques: monoprinting, painting, felting, sewing (both hand and machine), and writing.

To begin, I tore the duck canvas to size, then stitched along the edges to control the fraying.

I then put down the first layer of color by monoprinting onto the canvas using a Gelliplate. I followed that by dampening my canvas and spraying Tulip fabric dye onto the back, allowing it to bleed through to the front.

For me, it is all about layers. So I continued to put  color onto the fabric.  In addition to the monoprinting and spray dye, I used stencil and good old fashioned splatting.

At this point in the work, I still didn't know exactly where this was taking me, what the prayer was. As often happens, I am usually standing smack in the middle of the answer: Home, Sweet Home.

I love to use text as a design element....and in this case I wrote "Home Sweet Home" repeatedly onto the flag with a maroon Sharpie.

I decided that I wanted to use felt and felting for my "home" and the "heart" in it, and used both cut felt and wool roving to create the houses. I also cut small, hot pink hearts from felt, then stitched both to the flag with embroidery floss.

I hand-stitched some rick-rack (nothing happy can happen without rick-rack) along the bottom. I then gathered small fabric scraps in the same color palette and hand-stitched those along the stitching line for the flag sleeve. The scraps are meant to fray and wear in the outdoors, adding age and character to the flag.

This was a great swap, thank you Lenna for your time and your skills in hosting it!

To see the other flags created for this swap, go to Lenna's "swaps" blog at: http://creativeswaps.blogspot.com/. To learn more about Lenna and her artwork, visit her main site at: http://www.creativelenna.com/.

1 comment:

Lenna Young Andrews said...

Thanks so much Kim, what a wonderful write up! I am going to add this link to your post on creative swaps. I had guessed some of the techniques you used, but not all, so this post is great!
I appreciate all your kind words too, thanks!