Friday, October 12, 2012

Finishing the collaboration -- 2

Yesterday I showed you the hand-stitched piece that I have been working on with Rosemary Claus-Gray.  When I did my part and sent it back to her, I still didn't know what the map was showing.  She explained that it was about a bumblebee flitting from flower to flower:

"I read once that a bee will start the day with a particular blossom, like clover, and will only gather nectar from other clovers that day, or perhaps forever for that hive.  So bees would have to have a kind of inner map to take them from one blossom to another.  I've watched bees buzz along in a lovely circular path.  The vintage kimono fabric had some blossoms, and thus I chose it for this collaboration."

I had added two rectangular areas to the embroidery, which Rosemary naturally saw as beehives, even though I hadn't planned them to be that.

Last week she added a new layer of stitching and declared the piece finished.

She said, "Essentially, I added numerous bees.  You had stitched a few of the small shapes with a single white thread.  I thought they might represent the fluttering wings of a bee, especially if I added a body.

"The composition needed something light, as the whole thing was medium to dark values.

"I did not stitch all of what could be used as bee shapes, nor all the flowers, to give a sense of depth to the piece.  The ones not stitched tend to fade out in the distance, giving some perspective to the scene."

We both love this piece!  Collaboration certainly gives you a different result than working alone, and we both think we might like to do another project in the same vein.

Meanwhile, I've linked this post to Nina-Marie Sayre's weekly blog feature, Off the Wall Fridays.  Click here to see what other fiber artists have been up to this week.


  1. Hi Kathy, thanks so much for joining me in this collaboration. It was fun, interesting, and a delightful way to share thoughts, process, intent and surprise. My husband thought it was funny/odd that I thought of a bumble bee map. Well, he's right. It's one of those factoids that one retains for no evident reason. It made for a fun collaboration, however. I enjoyed your walking map, too. There were mysteries in that, also. Now, it's your turn to propose a theme.

  2. Hi Kathy, nothing to do with bees, but maybe a map? of where your work has been. I had no idea when I went off to knitting and stitching show today I would see some of your work in the show curated by Nancy Crow! I am glad there were one each of the different types. A faultlines piece and the grid piece which you have mentioned about the care you took for the quilting. Sorry it was a long day and I didn't write it down.
    Sandy in the UK

  3. Thanks, Sandy! that show has been several places in Europe in the last two years and we're still hoping it may get to Japan and/or North America. glad you saw it, and glad you liked it!