I adore Autumn and the relief of the long summer heat is just a small part of my favourite season. It is the glorious fall colour and the slow reveal of interlaced branches, the scent of woodsmoke in the evening and a cool chill in the early morning. Childhood memories and to be honest adult ones too of crunching and stomping in piles of leaves.
The leaves are turning and starting to fall here in the southern hemisphere, and I'm happy to turn some pencil drawings of leaves into glass sun catcher's and take the Autumnal colours into some embroideries.
'Until the last leaf falls' are a range of glass Autumn leaf sun catcher's that transform pencil sketches into luminous glass & Hoop art embroideries that capture the colours of Fall in French knots and other stitches.
There are 2 books I love to read in Autumn, both urban fantasies. One is 'The Autumn Castle' by Australian author Kim Wilkins, and that is where I found the title. The enchantment in the story (that connects the land of faery to modern day Berlin) can only continue 'Until the last leaf falls'.
The other novel is 'Memory and Dream' by Canadian author Charles de Lint. One of the quotes included in this book captures my feelings perfectly about Autumn and Winter trees... that feeling of waiting and promise.
"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape - the loneliness of it - the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it - the whole story doesn't show."
-Attributed to Andrew Wyeth.
GLASS PROCESS & MATERIALS: The glass process is powder printing and fusing. I turn my sketches into a screen print and push coloured glass powder from Bullseye Glass through the screen. For the leaves I cut circles, drill and finish Bullseye glass and use up to 6 different glass powders of varying Autumnal hues to create unique colour ways. After the circles are 'screen printed' I fire them to fuse the glass powder to the glass 'plate'.
EMBROIDERY PROCESS & MATERIALS:
The embroideries started from the view from my studio window. The leaves turn yellow and drift past and I was struck by the colour combination of yellow and grey, that was the first one. It seemed rude then, not to include all the other hues.
For these embroideries I use cotton embroidery floss on a background of calico. The calico has a 20 year history! The horizontal lines you see are industrial sewing machine stitching samples from when I first studied sewing apparel at TAFE (Technical college) in 1995. The calico is lovely and soft from all those years of handling and believe me I CAN sew a straight line now.
I like how the lines suggest a landscape and the contrast between the machine stitching and the embroidery makes me smile. These little hoops take hours and hours to stitch, so usually I'll be found doing this on public transport or on long driving trips.