Going 3-D

This month's SCVQA meeting featured Susan Else and her quilted mixed media sculptures.  She presented her "Off the Wall:  Quilting in Three Dimensions" lecture that include slides of some of her dioramas and free-standing pieces.  She also brought several of her pieces to display on the stage including:  Gaining (top left), Rapunzel Considers (right) and Underwater (bottom left). 
I was immediately drawn to her work on so many levels:  her fun sense of humor incorporated into each piece, her attention to details and the way she combines fabric to create each piece's surface.  It was a lot of fun to photograph each piece from different angles to capture all the details and scale.  Her presentation/slide show was incredibly inspirational and I was torn whether to enroll in her next day workshop:  3-D Adventures in the Garden or work on the many projects waiting for me at home.  I kept thinking about her art all afternoon and evening and around 8 pm finally called the VP for programs to inquire whether there were still openings and started packing up my quilting supplies for the next day workshop.  

The class supply list was fairly basic as the $10 class kit fee included all the fabrics and supplies we would need to create our own 3-D flower.  Upon arrival, we were issued a large nut, knitting needle, 8 pieces of floral wire, and we were teased with an amazing selection of fabric kits to create truly one of a kind 3-D flowers.  

But first we were treated to a presentation of how she creates multiple layers to her art as she assembled a jungle diorama and explaining how she used color/value to create such depth on a piece that only measured 7-8" deep.  

After watching this piece blossom and grow, we were ready to create our own 3-D flower, similar to the one on the right.  

Susan was an amazing teacher.  I especially appreciated her commitment to the hares and tortoises of the quilting world---able to challenge the hares that can speed through projects, while not losing or frustrating the tortoises, like her, that prefer to take more time to work on their pieces.  Surprisingly, I usually fall into the hare grouping, but this class I felt more like a tortoise as I found myself totally absorbed in the details of each component!  I don't think I completed any of the individual components in the workshop, but had the information/direction to go home and finish my piece after dinner.  I absolutely love the finished piece...and may need to explore 3-Dimensional work more often!  

Fortunately she lives only an hour south of us, so I hope to have more opportunities to take workshops with her and to see her work.  She currently has a piece included in the Milestones:  Textiles of Transition exhibit currently on display at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles through July 21st, that I may just have to check out!

My 3-D Adventures in the Garden