Tuesday, June 15, 2010

science, stitch, and a cup of tea.

I must be wanting a quilt to crawl under - but today I feature quilter Ruth Tabancay. Her quilts are gorgeous and very conceptual. The textures are beautiful and complicated. Both of the above works are made with used tea bags.

birthing bed and detail.

Ruth states:

The imagery in my work is based on time spent looking through a microscope. First as a bacteriology major and later in medical school, I spent many fascinating hours exploring the microscosmos of bacteria, fungi, and parasites, and of human tissues, such as squamous epithelium, striated muscle, collagen networks, and blood cells. Alone with my slides, I could leave the tangible world and enter, for me, an as yet unexplored space. Though it has been many years since that actual experience, these forms have never left my visual memory. Using the latest digital technology in software and computerized looms, I incorporate, both directly and indirectly, these microscopic images into my Jacquard weaving. With my study of textiles, it is natural that my attention would turn to the micro cosmos of fiber and fabric. With the use of the scanning electron microscope, I discover the dimensionality of individual fibers and the topography of woven cloth. My chosen media, Jacquard weaving and the materials used to create these works, are themselves the subject of the image.

And in another body of work, in a medium that can be considered the diametric opposite of “high tech,” I use recycled teabags to sew sculptural forms that have meaning for me on two levels. The hand-stitched surfaces recall visions of vast epithelial sheets and cell cultures. The teabags themselves represent the intimacy and ritual of sipping a cup of tea with family and friends and the finished sculpture, a gesture of warmth.


I personally love when the sciences merge with the hand made- they make such a fascinating and unexpected relationship.

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