I’ve been reading up on Greek pottery. I love pottery especially vases and jars. One of the things I purchased with my very first paycheck was a tall (4 feet high) decorative pot. The elegance and grace that can be viewed in such inanimate objects is simply amazing.
I discovered that Greek pottery was generally for utilitarian purposes and not necessarily for decoration. As varied as they are, they all follow a number of basic forms or shapes based on their functions. In their time, they were used for storage, carrying, pouring, mixing, drinking etc. They held water, milk, wine, perfumes and other cosmetics.
The exciting thing is, although shapes of Greek pottery were pretty standard, when it came to decorating them, potters and painters got a free reign in artistic expression. I find that the decorations on some of these vases easily lend themselves to free motion quilting designs. Which for me is absolutely wonderful – I get to marry two things that I love.
Greek Pottery – Amphora
In this week’s sketch, I drew an amphora, a form of Greek pottery used to carry milk, water, wine, and grain. I named my pot “Orange Wine” (hey there’s red and white wine why not orange?). Mine is orange so why not?
Here’s the pencil sketch I started with
Here’s the stitched drawing. I used fabric that I dye painted. I wanted to create a balance between the colors that come from the painted fabric and the colors and texture that come from thread painting. So to achieve that I restrained stitching to a minimum, using it to complement rather than overwhelm the design.
Here’s a look at the reverse side. I’m loving this marriage between free motion quilting designs and pottery. I won’t be surprised when I start doing a lot more of these.
And here’s the video showing how I put it all together.
Tips Techniques and Tools: Greek Pottery
- It’s hard to entirely paint/color a blank space with thread without distorting the underlying fabric. The dense stitching needed to make to cover the space and make the thread color pop will invariably result in fabric distortions. A shortcut to achieving intense color in your stitched designs is to stitch on an intensely colored fabric collage or on an image printed onto fabric. That way the colors from the fabric will help you achieve the color intensity you want.
- For multicolored fabric collages, let the lightest value in the fabric be your guide for choosing the color of thread to sew with for a subtle thread effect. For an intense effect, use the most saturated thread value.
- Don’t overwhelm the fabric collage with stitching or the other way round. They both have their part to play in this orchestra and your aim is to get them to work in harmony.
Thanks for reading. I’ll love to hear your comments.
Watch and read about the entire Stitch The Sketch series.
Sue Reno says
Your work is wonderful! And I’m so impressed you are documenting your project on video. If I ever undertake a project like this again, I will have to consider that….an extra layer of commitment, but very worthwhile.
Thanks Sue. That’s a wonderful comment from a talented artist like you.
Yes, documenting this project on video added another lay of complexity that I didn’t expect. But I figured it’ll be a way to keep me accountable and it sure has worked in keeping me on my toes. 🙂