Thursday, May 2, 2013

Using layered, slashed, and frayed Dupioni silk cut on the bias as an art form

Tim Harding . "KOI", 1991:
Layered, quilted, slashed, and frayed Dupioni silk 56 x 60½ inches

The following is an excerpt from an
Essay by Marcia Anderson (click here to read the complete essay)
Independent scholar, formerly Minnesota Historical Society

  Harding’s Koi, a greatcoat in the collection of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, illustrates his masterful use of color and form to create emotive silk paintings.  The realistic rendering of the movement of koi (Japanese ornamental carp) below the reflective blue water’s surface renders an impressionistic, yet immediately recognizable, image employing windows of light and color that are as changeable as the silks themselves.  It is particularly symbolic that Harding chooses to present the koi on an interpretation of the Japanese kimono.  Koi is also an appropriate and significant complement to the fine crafts acquired by the Minnesota Museum of American Art from the juried Fiber—Clay—Metal shows, renowned craft exhibitions that the museum organized between 1952 and 1964.  The acquisition of such nationally recognized art wear lends depth and continuity to an important component of the museum’s holdings.

 This is a link to the Origins Gallery in Santa Fe where Tim Harding's jackets can be purchased.

I have been fortunate to see some of his jackets in wearable art galleries. For warmer climates I noticed he used a base layer of organza. Layers and layers of silk dupioni in various color ways were slashed on the bias. I noticed that he added certain colors in specific areas to create a motif and/or splash of color. Just breathtaking. I remember duplicating the technique with layers and layers of silk, sewing through the layers, and slashing to reveal the bloom (some call it chenille) and fray of the edges. Another method would be to add strips already cut on the bias. Using different widths might make it interesting. Be sure to use a very simple pattern so you can concentrate on the silk.

Here is another version where you can see the different colors are pieced. Simple shaping works best.

Consider using the Self Collar and Cuff Jacket #202 pattern.