Thursday, September 03, 2009

Planned Obsolescence
35" x 38"

This quilt was inspired by The Story of Stuff.com. I saw this video and was completely overwhelmed and outraged. If you have time to watch the long video (20 minutes), I highly encourage it. Part of this story deals with the intentionality of making things that will not hold up over time. "They" did this on purpose to stimulate the economy. I feel so angry because it just seems so wasteful. I want to buy quality objects that will last a long time. And, where do all the broken consumer items go? Landfills here and overseas. This quilt shows a new neighborhood, built all in a row, on top of piles of stuff, things that are intentionally obsolete.

This quilt is a batik etching. This means that the white part of the quilt was covered completely in a layer of wax. I put the waxed cloth on top of my drawing, and then etched the design into the wax with sharp and tiny tools. Then I dyed it, and boiled out the wax. The top half is made from some new batiks I have designed. The solids are hand dyes. And except for the numb fingers from hours of etching, the top went together relatively quickly and easy. The quilting was another story. I had a lot of difficulty making decisions about how to quilt this, what lines to use. Ultimately, I chose to leave the quilting motifs as simple as possible so that it wouldn't compete with the detailed drawing of the trash heap.


17 comments:

Sherryl said...

Very nice and very timely.. for me anyway. I like how you kept the quilting so it does not compete with the design.
I am just about to replace a 2 1/2 year old printer... just like I seem to do every 2-3 years. Even the salesman at the retail store I visited agreed that they are not built to last and they cost more to fix than to replace.

Anonymous said...

Stunning! I love your blog, so much so that I follow it.

Jackie

http://jabotquilt.blogspot.com/

Gerrie said...

Fabulous, Kathy. Thanks for the explanation of how you did this. I totally agree with the sentiment.

Deborah Boschert said...

Genius! Really fabulous.

I am pleased to say we just called a local woodworker to fix the drawers in my kids' dressers. The sliders got all wonky and you had to yank and shove to open and close the drawers. Rather than buy new dressers, this guy is making new drawer boxes and replacing the sliders.

Jamie Fingal said...

Another great art quilt from you. I love your thought process. The drawings of the disposable objects are absolutely wonderful. There is such movement in this piece, and the colors - well they are very vibrant and fun.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kathy,
What stimulating work! Really intrigued by the batik etching process, and your quilting solution worked perfectly.

Linda Laird
Quilt Lady at SAn. rR. COm

norma said...

It's a fabulous piece! Yes, it's a story that makes me mad, too, and I admire the way you dealt with it. Your quilting is perfect and doesn't interfere with the line drawing at all.

Deborah said...

I also agree with your sentiment and love your colors. I like the contrast between the new neighborhood and the piles of stuff, which are executed beautifully.

judy coates perez said...

wonderful! I love how the drawing/etching came out. Good choice on the understated quilting, it does not disrupt the look of the drawing.

Stacy said...

Kathy, Thank you for sharing your art; your work is always wonderful to see!

But more imortantly, THANK YOU for sharing that message. I too am now outraged. On some level we all know what she's saying is true; but there are those who keep on buying & trashing!

I'm passing the message to anyone I can.

you ROCK!

Margeeth said...

Thank you very much for sharing this video with us.
Your quilt is beautifull and I think the message is quite clear.

Vickie Hallmark said...

The etched batik is just awesome, Kathy! I hope you do lots more.

Leah/ Texas/ United States said...

cool! interesting technique,thanks for explaining it. love the colors of the houses.

yarnahoy said...

Love the simplicity in the design!

Cyndi Kaye Meier said...

Congratulations on your two ribbons in Houston!

Richard Ewen said...

I saw this piece at the Gallery at the J and was intrigued by your drawing. I wondered if you could "size" a piece of wet fabric and stretch it onto a drawing board to dry and then draw with an ink pen and dye. Just like my watercolor paper that is sized in the water when the sheet is mold made and I re-wet it and stretch it on a board, the paper fibers do not bleed the watercolor edges.
I find your work truly amazing. The show of your work and Barb Forrister is a great show. I hope the Statesman comes to see it.

kathy york said...

Richard, Thanks for your suggestions. Since making this piece with batik etching, I have found pens that will draw on fabric quite easily and not bleed when wet. (Though, not turquoise colored ink, yet). The trick is holding the fabric still, which is easily accomplished by ironing freezer paper to the back. I just finished a 6' x 6' piece for Earth Stories with this technique and was quite pleased with it. So glad you were able to see my work at the Gallery at the J, and that you enjoyed it!!