About Me

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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"Heart Lines" completed

I have finished "Heart Lines", my submission to the Ferry Building Gallery show in West Vancouver, to be called Love in Many Languages, planned for February 2016.

The left hand is mine, the right hand my husband's. I hope that is not too sentimental!

I bound the piece with a narrow binding of black Kona cotton, cut on the cross grain and folded double. The binding is hand stitched on the back side. I am careful to do a professional job of joining the strips and stitching the mitred corners closed on both the back and front.
I feel that a good quality narrow black binding mimics the look of an exhibition frame, as required by art galleries for watercolour, prints, and drawings. Also, it gives the eye a place to stop and move back into the image. It truly does frame the piece and enhances the colours.

This piece is made with hand dyed fabrics, using Procion dyes for the background colours, and maple leaves for the hands. Hand embroidery was done with DMC #8 perle cotton, and free motion machine quilting with Connecting Threads cotton #50 thread.  The hands were first quilted onto thick wool felt that had also been dyed with maple leaves, so there would be not any change of colour at the edges of the appliqué. Then after being carefully cut out, the hands were machine appliquéd onto the base fabrics. Embroidery followed, then the quilt sandwich with wool wadding and a heavy linen/cotton backing fabric, free motion machine quilted. After the narrow black binding, I made two sleeves for the back of the piece that will hold 2 inch wide wooden strips, that have been painted a dull gold colour with Inka Gold paint (it only shows at the very ends, but it keeps the wood smooth and I know how pretty the pieces are). The top wooden strip will have screw eyes at the ends for hanging, and the bottom strip will keep the piece square and straight. The piece measure 20 by 20 inches. November 29 is the day for submission - wish me luck.

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