I finally had an idea for a kudzu-inspired art piece using stuff I’ve saved and stuff I was given. The base for this piece is a cardboard packing insert that I thought looked like a mask. However, when covered with batting and fabric it turns into something entirely different. The green fabric was given to me by Rebecca Buzsaki, who has even more glittery stuff than I do thanks to her years of making dance costumes. I was hoping to use some of the wrapped floral wire that I bought for COVID masks (the wire is too heavy for that use), but of course I put the wire in a very safe place. While looking for it, I discovered some stiff paper that I used for making hat bands, and some stiffer paper that claims to be for making waists in dresses neat and tidy. Since my own waist is neither of those things, I have no problems using the paper tape to hold the lace I’m using for kudzu leaves – unless and until I find the floral wire.
There’s no pattern for this piece, which means it may languish for weeks until the various bits tell me where they want to go. I’ve never done anything remotely similar, so every technique will have its own learning curve. And I have no place whatsoever to display it. Why am I doing it? It’s art, sweetie. I’m making art.
I got a chance to drive through kudzu country in the deep south. Those plants are terrifying, but beautiful. There wasn’t a place to pull over and take a good picture, so here’s a link to see it: kudzu. There was, however, plenty of time during the trip to think about what kind of quilt kudzu will inspire. Since the states affected by this invasive plant have been working to contain it for years, some of the spots I saw looked more like green stalagmites in the forest cave. Other places, especially the places with a short run of trees or poles, looked like a tsunami wave threatening to surge over the highway. The worst areas looked like the state was closing up for the season and put a green drop cloth over everything.
My green fabric collection will work okay, but I’m thinking I need to do some three-dimensional work here. I have a piece of threadwork that I intended to be trees, but if I rotate it I might be able to use it as a kudzu leaf. I can also paint leaves on some nonwoven material and attach them with embroidery or beads. Maybe I could get a friend to crochet some leaves out of a decorative thread I bought that doesn’t like my sewing machine – or teach me how to do it.
The key point in all this rambling is that I brought a project idea home with me, which will go a long way to getting me back to work after my vacation. This is a gift from the universe.