SEATTLE CRAZY QUILT
For the MIPCES catalog, Lindly Haunani wrote:
“Fragmented pattern in the context of quilt images has been a recurring theme in my work for the last twenty-five years. The color palette and patterning in this quilt was inspired by a visit to Seattle in the fall of 1996. Approaching my clay quilt like a fabric designer, without color constraints, I choose the colors after freely mixing a large variety of swatches, and then making intuitive choices from the results. Each stage of the process, the palette development, the ‘fabric’ construction and the final cutting is enormously satisfying (and lots of fun)!”
Recently Lindly shared the following comments:
Was the piece made in 1996-97 specifically for this show or for some other event first?
“My Seattle Quilt was made specifically for this show. Part of the “challenge” was to stretch artistic boundaries and one of the first aspects that occurred to me was to work on a much larger scale in polymer clay than I had been previously used to, And to exploit/ reverberate/ the dimensional aspects of working with polymer clay.”
Where did the idea/inspiration for this piece come from?
“I’ve always loved crazy quilts and had taken a trip to Seattle, during which I visited the botanical gardens and been almost overwhelmed by the subtlety of the colors and textures of the native Northwest plants.”
Was there precedent in your previous work? Can you explain?
“Yes, In 1996 Steven Ford asked me to be part of their polymer clay calendar project, where each artist would be featured for a specific month with an image. we met at the Helen Drutt gallery in Philadelphia and in between looking at fabulous, cutting edge, collectable jewelry, I presented three different ideas to them for a calendar page. The presentation that intrigued them the most was a nine panel Crazy Quilt made from polymer clay. “
What made this piece special for you?
“It is the first and last time I spent a week dev loping a color palette, I carefully measured everything and made five different adjustments to the primaries I planned to use. each time I made a change I baked samples and made notes. Eventually, after deciding on the colors I would use, the degree of saturation end the overall feel I was shooting for…I processed ten pounds of clay in my food processor and arranged the clay in a box of gallon sized baggies. T mix the colors I just grabbed handfuls in relative amounts from each of the baggies of custom mixed primaries that i had designed. “
“I still have the Seattle Quilt, it is hanging over my computer desk and several times a day I revisit the possibilities of doing more large pieces, as in more quilts directly inspired by the color and imagery of food. Another coffee bean quilt or perhaps bagels and cream cheese – tongue and cheek – and resplendent glory of the colors, textures and implicit humor of the difference between miniature polymer clay food and food inspired art. ”
Can you provide any other explanatory remarks about the process of making this piece?
“When I was making my first quilt, Pier Voulkos was staying with me while teaching a workshop at the Art League School at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria Virginia. I indicated to her that I really needed to work towards the deadline of finishing my crazy quilt for the calendar project. I had three baking trays of possible fabrics for the quilt, but needed more. We spent a delightful evening, listening to Zakir Hussein and the Rhythm experience=- while passing pieces of clay back and forth as we brainstormed and added elements. The inspirational breakthrough for me was when Pier grabbed a small tray of beads in progress that had been temporarily discarded and were, now, unconditioned and too stiff … flattened, smashed and overlaid onto another surface..in rhythm to the music? magic! “
Were there any noteworthy technical hurdles that you had to conquer in making this piece.
“It is nine panels that fit into my convection oven, however I needed to experiment with adhesives that would be archival and work well to cement the pieces to the Masonite backing board. Eventually I settled on the contact cement that is used to mount Formica counter tops. The next and frankly unexpected challenge was devising a way to ship a piece that was larger, when padded and packed, than the usual shipping guidelines for UPS. “
What connections do you see to the work you are currently doing?
“Many -ultimately the willingness to think beyond the box instead of outside the box. “