Sunday, June 7, 2015

Egg #20- Americana Quilt design meets Mondrian, etched and dyed goose egg from the "50 years all cooped up, what's an egg to do?" series

      This next egg in the series pays homage to a couple of different inspirations. I have always enjoyed creating art that is linear, detail oriented, bold, strong, and rigid. I knew that I wanted to create an egg that mimicked this. I turned to the Dutch painter Pieter Mondrian from the De Stijl art movement, and termed Neoplasticism. If you look at the example below, the painting consists of a white background. There is a systematic grid that divides the canvas, and in each of the compartments or squares that the combination of horizontal and vertical lines make, he has dropped three primary colors into those spaces. So, to give the same sort of feel, I will limit the color palette for this egg. Because I have decided to do what I am calling Americana or a primitive quilt, I will be using the colors Red, White and Blue.
         For the next part, I wanted a quilt design that utilized some of the more popular quilting blocks that you would find in an old fashioned quilt.
Ohio star...
And lastly, Orange peel.
     Traditionally, the quilt block design would be repeated several times, and locked together. I decided to look for another way to place the blocks together, rather than in a stacked row. I turned to on tessellations and fractals, which are other ways patterns can repeat. I found this one that uses different sizes of squares.
     Now to see if I can translate this pattern onto the egg. Here we go:
     Above is the preliminary sketch for the egg on graph paper. In each size of square, I draw one of the quilting block pattern in the interior. The egg will have four sections, and in each section, a large center square surrounded by smaller squares. These square will progressively become smaller as they radiate out from the center. I will design a top and bottom cap.
     I use my lathe, and I draw 16 vertical lines on the egg. I divide the 16 wedges into 32. I draw a middle horizontal line, and measure 1/4" horizontal bands on the top and bottom of the middle line. I end up with 32 squares across by 12 squares high. I mark and divide the egg into quarters with a blue pencil so I can see where the quarter of egg begins and ends. In each quarter section, I find the middle, and mark a square that is 4x4 squares. This is where my large middle quilt block design will reside. Now is where I decide to change my sketch. I will use the orange peel block in the interior of the large block. I find that I can't fit as many squares on the egg as I drew on the graph paper, so now is the time to make adjustments.
     After I fit all the squares onto the egg, and change the top and bottom design, I dye the egg with PUSA Brook Blue. I then use my fine kitska to outline all the squares.
     I double up the lines for each square.
     Now, with my extra fine kitska, I start filling in the squares with the quilting block designs. I also start to fill in the small triangles on the interior of the orange peel circles.
     After all is waxed, I give the egg a "wash back". I use Ivory dish washing liquid, water and a soft brush and gently wash the egg and rinse back to the white of the shell. (This means that the outline of the quilting squares will be the Brook Blue).
     The egg is left to dry for about 30 minutes.
     Now I wax all of the white areas that I want to stay white, with a medium and a fine kitska. I also wax in "stitch marks" around the quilting blocks.
     After all of the white areas are waxed, I hand paint PUSA Ice Blue.
     After I hand paint all of the squares, I will wax in the outer edges of each quilt block.
     Now I wax in the arms of the pinwheel blocks, and the Ohio star.
     I now hand paint the top and bottom sections with UGS Light Blue. When dry, I wax over.
     I hand paint sections in with UGS Royal blue. I wax over all interior background colors of blocks with the exception of the large Orange peel. I want to use a darker color blue, and I will have the Royal blue underneath the darker blue that I will use, which will make a deeper, darker color.
     The large block gets one more hand painting of dye, and in this case, PUSA Midnight Blue. When dry, that section is waxed over.
     I dip the egg into vinegar, and wash any errant color and do a slight etch of the egg, and also help the next color take in the shell.
     After all blocks are waxed over, I dye the egg in UGS scarlet.
     Now to start to give the egg some depth with some shading of the scarlet dye.
     I start in the middle and brush in some UGS Red over the UGS scarlet. I work towards the bottoms of the egg and start adding UGS Dark Red with the UGS Red. The very bottom of the Egg is just the UGS Dark Red.
     Using the three different reds, from light to dark down towards the bottom gives the egg some depth and interest, and the look of an aged quilt.
     The entire red section is then waxed over. Now it is time to unwax. I put the egg on a cardboard cup holder lined with paper towels. I put that on an old cookie sheet and into a cold oven. I heat the oven to 175 degrees F.  I let the oven melt the wax off, about 15 minutes. I wipe off the excess wax with a soft cloth. Here is the finished egg:
     Here is large quilting block with the orange peel design.
     Here is the Ohio star quilt block that is in between the orange peel blocks.
The finished egg.. a nod to the past of Americana quilts and design with a linear and graphic twist. 
I hope that you have enjoyed the creative process and the inspirations behind this egg!


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