Sunday, March 31, 2013

Leonardo daVinci Exhibit

We went to a wonderful exhibit at the new Elliott Museum in Stuart, FL last weekend.  It is a hands-on exhibit showing Leonardo daVinci's  "Machines in Motion".  The exhibit is interactive so you can experience the creativity and designs of Leonardo.  A team of scientists and artisans in Florence, Italy constructed the machines, which included a working robot, flying machines and all kinds of mechanical devices.  The machines were made of wood, and all of them moved and operated in fine fashion.  All the models were made from Leonardo's journal drawings.  Here is one of the flying machines.
Above is a machine gun type of contraption, which could shoot 9 shells at one time without reloading.  And below is the first "tank", which looked like a weird-looking Yurt, but which had wheels and cannons to shoot. 
There were seats inside for four men to operate the wheels and guns.  Not quite sure how they could see out of the tank to aim, but it certainly was innovative! There were all kinds of levers and pulleys and many of the machines were usable for peace-time applications, but Leonardo lived in northern Italy when he invented many of these machines and they were concerned with border incursions, so war was high on the list for new inventions.  The entire exhibit was fun and educational, a great activity for youngsters of all ages!

The exhibit is up through August 23rd, so if you get to Stuart, FL, check it out, it is well worth the time!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

SAQA Auction Piece

SAQA, which stands for Studio Art Quilt Associates, is a truly wonderful organization, dedicated to preserving and advancing the art quilt. (www,  Each year around September they hold an online auction consisting of fiber art made by its international members.  Last year was the first time I donated a piece to the auction, and was so pleased it sold.  I am donating a piece again this year.  Each piece has to be 12 inches square. 

I used commercial fabrics and some of my rusted fabric (shock!) as well as a piece from a napkin (the small square in the larger rectangle).
I tore most of the strips for a more organic look, fused them onto the batting and then heavily grid stitched them down.  I then used gel medium on the piece, let it dry and then added some gold acrylic paint.  I couched some gold cord around the small square as well.  I call the piece Prairie Dawn, as it evokes, in me at least, the colors of the prairie in the midwest.   Here is a close-up:
The piece didn't turn out exactly as I had envisioned it, but I am fairly pleased with the finished product. 

Rusted fabric

I have been having fun working with my rusted fabrics, mainly because those are the fabrics I brought with me in my temporary quarters, waiting for our new house to be finished!  Everything else is in storage.  On this one, I used some turquoise with the black and I really like the contrast.  I placed some bronze mesh on the top and hand stitched it all together.  The black dots are french knots, not beads.

This postcard was inspired by a friend, Jill, who does a lot of fabric weaving.  I used only rusted fabric and black cut in half-inch strips.  I find it effective, and will be doing some more weaving in the future.