I volunteered to paint the groom’s tie for a spring wedding, and yet I had never painted a tie before. I assembled paint, tools, and the tie. I sorted through what I know about Jeff: energy and composure. Here is the result.
For whom would you want a tie painted? What words would you choose for inspiration?
I entered the aisle for fabric paints and saw a puzzled woman with silk shoes in her hand. I turned to the next aisle, paused, and came back to the woman.
“What are you thinking about? You obviously are searching for a solution.” Her face questioned me. I piped up, “I am a textile artist. Your face and your shoes intrigue me.”
She quickly told her situation: mother of the groom. dress and shoes not quite the same tone. She decided, “I should just give you my shoes.”
I talked her through options that she could do herself. Distress began to register on her beautiful face. I fumbled through my purse and pulled out my business card. “This is who I am. Give me your shoes. Let me help you.”
I added shading and dimension with 5 metallic paints, a few stencils, and several brushes. I practiced on some bits of silk before I started on her shoes. The “little bit more” solution was a good choice as the shoes took on a more complementary tone to the dress fabric.
We met at the local pub for the shoe delivery. We chatted over a beer about the northern Midwest and military family life, points of commonality. She left to pack for the wedding. I departed to get back to larger scale projects. But I was pleased to have helped with the golden slippers.
One of my first jobs growing up was to gather eggs. Since that opportunity to become appreciative of the role of the egg on the farm, the egg has evolved into a personal metaphor for creativity. Today I live in a small house that was a chicken coop in its first life. Today I practice textile art as a full time pursuit. I like when the creative muse presents me her gifts in daily freshness right here at home.
I chose a variety of techniques and products that I have been practicing in the past year: fabric paint, crayons, markers, stenciling, rubbing, and couching. The piece became a whole cloth sampler, celebrating my current creative techniques and the history I have of quilts, begun by my grandmother when I was a child. There is one feather out of order, which was not intentional, but I liked it. The last stitch I made on this piece was homage to my grandmother (It is the knot that embellishes the “I”.), who tied all of her utilitarian quilts. Scrambled to soufflé. Perhaps there is another egg quilt.