“Fabric of the Universe” – A Study in Black on Black

A beaded art quilt, "Fabric of the Universe"“Fabric of the Universe”, a medium sized beaded art quilt, (31” W x 26.5” T or 78.5 cm x 67 cm T) was created in 2003 in response to an energy exchange with a lover at the time. We were laughing afterwards that our combined energy waves were somewhere out in the Universe and an alien was laughing for some unknown reason.

Thousands of black seed beads in the form of “waves” were sewn on to simulate those ripples. As the ripples intersected and reflected off of each other, a “fabric” made Detail of beaded art quilt, "Fabric of the Universe"of these energy impulses was created out in the vastness of my fabric Universe.In some places, the wave patterns intersected with stars and galaxies. In other places on this my map of the outer reaches of Space, the waves clustered, suggesting possible new celestial formations being created. Still, in other areas, there is a suggestion of chaos in these energy fields, and perhaps one can see a black hole or two where light could be drawn inside, never to exit. Such areas seem benign enough and don’t come with warning signs, “Enter at your own peril!”. I’ve encountered a few of those danger zones in my own life, also without the necessary signage…sigh!

Detail of beaded art quilt, "Fabric of the Universe"The black on black beading is incredibly intricate, yet doesn’t photograph well. Even though I knew that that would be the case as was sewing away, I still liked the idea that a complicated pattern of beauty was being created. It is very hard to bead black beads on black fabric at night, and I probably will never do that again on this scale. I find that to often be the case, however, that some of the most amazing things in life are only seen on close examination.

Another facet of this art quilt that I particularly like are the shi-sha mirrors from India. In the above detail photo, there are two in the upper middle and one at the bottom middle, each outlined with gold thread and tiny pearls. They collect little pools of light and send them out into the room, much like the stars in the sky. I find these tiny mirrors to be quite effective at relecting light, even though they are at most 1″ or 2.5 cm in diameter. Again, tiny details often have large effects, especially when shown in contrast to something else. In this case, it’s the sparkles of light against the dark background.

Bead next to bead, texture next to texture, my art quilts grow. I could probably get by with a lot fewer details, but I would feel that I was shortchanging a piece that I didn’t give my all to. Since I didn’t have children, my creations are what I’m leaving behind to mark that I was once here. While I could have picked a bit more durable medium than fabric to give myself a voice for the ages, I like the concept, that just as in life, we put a lot of effort into what one day will pass.

How do you feel about your own artistic endeavors. What part of your voice are you leaving behind?

 Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute, fill out the form by clicking on the “comments/no comments link” at the top of the posting, and then share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate art quilts and textile arts. We’d love to hear from you!

You can see more of my art work on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com

One comment

  1. Fred Burks says:

    Thanks so much for your beautiful words about this magical piece and the process of making it and what lead to it, Nancy. You are a gem, as is to reflected in your work.

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