Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Magritte Appliques

Ok. I make a lot of applique type thingies, and I enjoy making crocheted tableaux with my appliques. I dream of making more and getting gallery representation. But my mind skips around a lot and I focus on odd things at odd times, often even forgetting that I love to make my little appliques.

Case in point, I've been thinking and scheming and crocheting and ripping and re-crocheting a lot lately around the idea of a bowler hat patterned with clouds, a la Magritte. Not terribly original, but it's been in my head forever. Ever since I saw this umbrella at a museum (MOMA?) gift shop:

Lifted from Google Images

Which I saw over ten years ago in a catalog and still think is one of the coolest things ever.

I digress.

I've been trying to make a full size wearable hat out of yarn. Mainly because making a life size hat out of thread seems like a madness that even I couldn't sustain. It dawned on me (well, actually it smacked me upside the back of my head while I was crocheting along) that I would like the end product better as an applique motif. Duh. I had this realization last time I was on the Magritte hat train of though (maybe 6 months ago - or a year?) but that was after years of "Oh, I'll try that later after I get the right yarn". And I forgot again! But this time I didn't let it go. And... tada!:

Stormy Magritte

Why Stormy Magritte? I couldn't find my ball of thread in my favorite shade of blue for skies. I had put it away in a nice container and couldn't find it. Please imagine a silly sheepish grin while rolling your eyes.

Back to the applique. It's about 1.5" across. Forgot to measure it. Did I mention that I also filed my rulers away the last time I was in a cleaning jag? All my measuring devices are still currently in limbo somewhere. Anyway. Standard size for my projects. Then - Lo and Behold! For on this great day was found my blue thread. Hallelujah!:

Sunny Magritte, small

This one is about 0.75" - ie tiny. Hard as hell to photograph due to that minuscule state especially since we all know full well that I suck at photography to begin with. But I really like the way the clouds look. So I tried again, going bigger:

Sunny Magritte, large

Ah. Comparable in size to the Stormy one but a freaking struggle to make (and photograph - again!). The clouds came out awful. I had to do a lot of over-stitching with needle and thread to even them out and I absolutely did not want to simply embroider the clouds on. Wanted them to be in the matrix. sigh.

This happens to me occasionally. At the best of times, I can't reproduce an applique identically but then there are times when I can't seem to get my hands to cooperate with my brain. I get frustrated and angry and usually quit. But lately, I've discovered that physically putting the piece down for even 10 minutes hits the mental refresh button. Pretty cool. Who knew that getting up to get a glass of water or even taking a short side trip to make room for said water could loosen up the bats packed so tightly in that belfry?

Still, I like the hat applique idea overall. (No big surprise, that.) Even thinking of making more to decorate a sketch book or two for the etsy shop. Hmmm.

Hook on

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