Friday, November 7, 2014
Q = A = Q 3 -- handwork and surface design
Q=A=Q gives two awards for specific techniques: one for handwork and the other for surface design.
The handwork award was a no-brainer -- Beth Miller's map of Canberra, the capital of Australia, executed largely in hand-stitched black and grays on white.
Update: thanks to Brenda Gael Smith, who points me to an old blog post here in which Beth explains how this quilt came to be made.
But there were plenty of contenders for the surface design award, and I probably spent longer on that decision than on all the others put together. In the running were all the usual techniques: painting, screenprinting, shibori, phototransfer. In the end I chose Ayn Hanna's piece, which combined deconstructed screenprinting with direct dye drawing.
I loved the jaunty freedom of the drawing line, with its changing width and occasional blotchy nodes. I liked the little sections where she drew in red, a change-up from the predominant black. And I liked the subtle, mostly muted background, its rectangles referencing traditional quilt block construction.
Two others from my surface-design short list were so appealing that I gave them awards too. Juror's Choice went to Judy Hooworth.
I've followed Judy's work for many years, having first seen it in person at Quilt National 2003, I think, and have been fascinated as her methods have gotten more austere in both technique and palette. (The QN piece had lots of raw edges and dimension, and was a wild abstract design of hot reds and yellows.)
Honorable Mention went to Randall Cook.