I responded to a call for entries for the February 2013 Gallery show of men’s quilting at Island Quilters, located on Vashon Island (where we had lived more than 20 years ago), and entered the three finished quilts that are still in my possession, about which, more later. The response to Paul and Anja’s call for entries was, to say the least, overwhelming, so the show will be in two parts, continuing in March with the other half of the entries.
While most of the quilts are from better-known male quilters from the Seattle area and local Vashon quilters, I was delighted to see the “Montana Men Quilt” group quilt, to which I contributed back in 2009, and three of the five 2007 Round Robin Challenge quilts that Carl Rohr orchestrated. The Montana Men Quilt collaboration combined the talents of 15 men from Montana, with Carl doing the setting, an admirable job, considering the diversity of materials, motifs, and colors in the contributed blocks.
In addition to not-so well-known quilters (like myself), the show includes Seattle-area quilters Luke Haynes, Geoff Hamada, and Scott Hansen. Island Quilters’ new venue in the old Robinson Furniture location provides excellent gallery space and lots of light, in addition to their huge fabric collection.
“Elemental Phases,” is the second in a series of explorations of the Fibonacci sequence, familiar to computer science students as an exercise in double recursive programming, and to artists and mathematicians as an approximation of the Golden Mean. The spiral
arms represent the classical elements: earth (yellow), air (green), water (white), fire (red) and void (blue), the colors of which are taken from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. The ancients depicted not the atomic elements of the modern age—which we now know are themselves composed of even more elemental particles—but the phases and properties of matter: solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and “non-material.” In this original design quilt, the four corporeal elementary phases intertwine on a void background, as all objects exhibit properties of varying degrees of inertia, cohesion, expansion, heat, and non-existence.
The traditional airplane block, updated from the 1930s, depicts the two-place Waiex kitplane I’m building in the garage. The block includes fabric from two recycled dress shirts, one of which was missing a collar and buttonholes, recycled for “Corporate Recycling,” created in response to a Bitterroot Quilters Guild challenge to make a 5-inch square quilt of recycled materials. In this case, the quilter recycles himself, finding a new use for the corporate button-down uniform and power tie, in anticipation of retirement.
My other quilt, “Leonardo’s Garden” , will be part of the second half of the Man-Made exhibit, in March.