Of all of my art quilts based on wine, “Fruit of the Vine” is probably the most opulent. At 40” W x 35.5” T x 2” D ( 101.5cm W x 90.5cm T x 5cm D), this piece is filled with the lushness of a vineyard at harvest time. That’s when the vines are at their most werdant. While no self-respecting vineyard master would ever let the foliage get this exuberant, as there’s a strict ratio of leaves to grape clusters in order to get the best wine, as an artist, I can fill my vines with grapes, flowers, and have striped trellises under always sunny skies, if I choose.
As with many of the other art quilts that I’ve done in this series of “Wines of the World”, I’ve used rubbery plastic grape clusters that have held up well over the years. If you don’t squeeze them too hard, they actually have a bit of the feel of real grapes. The size is rather close to real wine grapes, too, as thye generally are smaller than the table grapes that you’d find in the grocery store.
In this detail shot, you can see some of the lavish silk flowers that I used in the surface design. There are also a number of small, rolled ribbon roses, which including the leaves, measure about 1/2″ or 1.25 cm across. They can be found in small packages in many craft stores here in the States, but I buy them in bulk on eBay from stores in Hong Kong. In the lower left, there’s a folded ribbon flower of black and white stripes with a black and white button center. I’ve written in the past about what a big influence Candace Kling’s ribbon work was on my art quilts at the time, and this piece is no exception.
There are both dark purple and green grapes shown in this detail shot, and they would be grown in separate parts of a real vineyard as they have different horticultural needs. This “fact” however, does not need to apply in my fabric version. Scattered throughout this shot are a number of five petaled silver looking flowers which are actually mirror buttons. They are one of those amazing finds that I acquired in some wonderful place and of course, have no idea how to get any more. I believe they’re antique, and since they’re glass, they do break, as I’ve lost a petal or two in folding and moving quilts about that contained them. They’re an excellent example of if you like a material or embellishment. buy as many as you can afford, as the source will probably not be around later. While i’ve found some plastic mirrored glass flowers, they don’t have the richness of these glass ones.
Wines and art are a natural pairing for me in my personal life, and I have a few good friends with which I can share them both. I’ve had the good fortune of crafting a life based on all of the arts and the luxury to promote them. I hope that you, too, can find time to gift yourself with whatever you see as “the good life” and share it with your friends.
What is the “good life” for you? Is it a regular part of your everyday existence, or only for special occasions?
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