Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Final Sewing Work, and Installation!

I lied.
I said I would be posting this yesterday, but I had a visitor all day. "M. Migraine" came to call, repeatedly hit me in the head and decided to keep me company until dark. I asked him to leave several times, but I must be a good hostess.
Some visitor.......hmmph!
Well, here we go with the last of the banner stories! Below you will see one of them, with a guide and the letters laid out down the center. (yes, I was standing on the table. no, I shouldn't have been but...???) These all had to be glued with a flexible and strong fabric glue---which was almost toxic to breathe!--- first before they could be stitched. I think the following photos will explain why......

The fabric the letters were made from was the heaviest weight of linen canvas, painting canvas, that I could get. Then two coats of gesso to seal it, a gel medium for texture, acrylics and other medium for color and a few glazes. All that equals something harder than leather to sew through.
Seriously, I would have rather sewn leather by hand! It has more suppleness. This.....oy. All I can say is I pinched off a nerve in my thumb cutting the edges and it still is not right and giving me pain.......

The little bowls are between four and five inches across, so there is an idea of the size of each letter. Below, is a better image of the sewing process; bead by bead, a needle being pulled through with pliers due to the heaviness of the multiple layers. Kiddies, there was nothing FUN about this part!!!

Each single bead, one by huge letters on one banner, eight on the other.....soooooo much weight. So much time.
Breaks for sore hands, sometimes a day or so between sewing.

But in the end, it all turned out beautiful. The fringe, the tassels, the sheer trim with sequins that I was unsure of when I purchased but was perfect when is always odd how these things work themselves out and when hung, look beautiful.

And the best part, of course, is the delivery! Getting them up on the church walls and seeing the reaction from the people who commissioned them, which I must say was very happy!!! (and me too!!!)
I am completely exhausted from this project, and will be on and off blog sporadically for a while. I hustled so much to finish this that there are many, many things around here unfinished, except ME, and I think I am completely finished!!! My body is just worn to a nub from this---too much in too little time.
Blogger has changed how they have their button for text justification, so naturally it has taken FOR EVER for me to get this post up, tinkering and saying naughty words early in the morning.....quite a few in fact. QUITE a few.
It's going to be a two-pot-of-coffee day........
I hope this was worth the wait! I know for me, it feels like one more step towards clearing out the ghosts of this last year. Now to allow myself some time for other things that are piled up, and I should be back to my abnormal acerbic self in no time soon!
Which may or may not be a good thing. I leave that for you to decide.  ;-)
Have a good creative day! Make something wonderful!!!



Silke said...

Anne, I am speechless! Truly, I've just been gawking at the pictures for the last few minutes. Magnificent!!! Truly amazing!! I am awed by the sheer size of these banners, by the process that went into making them, by your tenacity in getting them done perfectly and on time, and by your vision for the beauty of them.

Now, time for some rest and maybe even some play! I hope your head feels better today!!

Much love, Silke

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Silke!

I was just at your blog leaving a comment!
Yes, the size of these things is why I am giving up doing more; I can no longer man handle these things and then move......
And I am forever stunned at how small they look after they are hung. DUH.
of course, that is also the first time I have to see what they really look's a leap of faith!
Heads better, but I'm taking it easy today!!!


Ima Weed said...

Such dedication to your art and work, it is stunning of course. Let me tell you now, I think you are a throughly delightful person, even when you grump. Hope you have a very restful and relaxing day.

yoborobo said...

They are just gorgeous, Anne! I am breathing a big sigh of relief for you. I know this has been a ton of work, but they are DONE, and they are simply beautiful. Now play! PLAY!!!! xox Pam

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I try and maintain humor even when the grumpies hit!!!
It makes the day go better...LOL!!!
But I am really glad this one is out and done! Now for a bit of fun.... :)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks Pam!

I am just doing SQUAT today, and then I have a shipment coming from Cheap Joes..... :D
I think that sounds fun---wish you were close to play!


yoborobo said...

Anything call Cheap Joes has to be fun! LOL! I will be right over. :) xo

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Art Supplies baby! Art Supplies!!!!

LOL!!! :D You bring the wine!


Vicki Miles ~8-) said...

Wow! I don't think I've seen any actually installed. I hope they appreciate the talent required.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Vicki,

yes, they do. The one lady that helps me hang them is always blown away by the weight, details, how they fit with the church design, etc. They are most appreciative.
But I am soooooo glad these are done!
I am off to get some headache feels like I might be going rebound today---will get by your blog today or tomorrow. Sorry I've been MIA.


Bunny said...

Anne the banners are outstanding, so much work but I just know worth all the effort. Love those tassels too. Just gorgeous. I wondered if you could have used the hot wand with the beads and crystals, might have made it easier. I use one all the time. check it out LOL. Hope your Migraine goes soon.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi Bunny,

I have never used a hot wand for beads (I guess because of the odd assortment of items I sew on) but it is something I might look into. Some of the fringe, etc I get to put the tassels toget with is of unknown materials; I'm always wondering if it will melt, fall apart, etc. HA! It is a perpetual experiment!
We've had a pretty big weather change; rain, low pressure. I'm sure the head is affected by that. It will be fine....eventually! ;)


marianne said...

they're lovely, anne! i'm sure the church was thrilled. hope mr. m stays away for a while & you can get some r&r

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I'm going for the R&R Marianne!!!
And then I can finally get around to blogs, etc.
Low pressure, wet weather---all equals headache.
And maybe pressure, stress and fatigue? YA think? LOL!!!


audrey said...

Gorgeous, Anne, just gorgeous!!! I love the cream and blue with the gold letters. Stunning. And they are SO HUGE!!! No wonder your head and body hurt!!
All that handwork...groaning to get each bead in place. I can feel the pain just looking at the picture. I know you will have a special place in heaven.
Now REST, Anne!!! And PLAY!
BRAVO on the banners!!!!
♥ audrey

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Audrey, with the words that came out of my mouth while making these, the place they will stick me will be where either halos need polishing or hemming angelic robes!!!
Or someplace slightly *warmer*.....
But I gotta tell you, when they are almost makes all the pain worthwhile.
My playing today is finishing rearranging and cleaning up the studio. No, it's not play, but I've wanted to do it for so long....


Georgina said...

Darlin', you've earned your wings in Heaven. I know there was an exchange of $$ for this project, but I still think it's a labor of love you do for these churches.

I told my mother about your work, since she is a member of St. Patrick's Cathedral Alter Society here in my hometown. She said they order all these things through a catalog and pay a pretty penny for banners, vestments, etc. There was one member who would make the linen covers for the alters, but she stopped doing that due to her health. I recall my mother giving her some linen table cloths that belonged to my grandmother and she did a wonderful job making the coverings.

Well, go rest up and I'll be sending you an email concerning my current!!

Love ya and take care,

Jan said...

I am heaving a sigh of relief for you that these are finished! They are totally awesome, I have just spent several minutes clicking on each photo and really looking at them. I can well imagine the difficulty of sewing those beads on and having to use a pliers to pull the needle through. That material looks like hand made paper or something although of course you explained what it actually is. Your poor hands! I do hope you are rewarding yourself with some frivolity.

Deborah said...

OH ANNE!!!! They are stunning. How do you even come up with these ideas, and choose such difficult materials to use!?!?!? The detail is just incredible. So so sorry about your migraine. Hope that nasty thing is gone now. Yes, you deserve a good break now. But not your leg. Or any body part. **blows kisses** Deb

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Georgina!

Yes, all this type of work used to be done either by nuns or congregation members. The work from catalogs is incredible big bucks. I think it is an affront what they charge for what is delivered.
I have a beautiful irish linen tablecloth that has been washed and ready for dying....will no doubt make a stole.
But no more banners; too hard on this old body!!!
Take care...


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Jan,

I am rewarding myself with putting a letter together to send to Quilters Home since it is apparent that Mark Lipinski is no longer with them, and it appears to be due to one vile voice that, even after canceling her subscription, is STILL getting letters published. And I am enjoying writing it...... >:)
Anyway, it is kind of odd having the studio back, and getting things in order--as I have spent most of the day. And it's *nice*.....
Yes, this one time, cleaning is nice!
(please check me for fever!!!)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Deb,

I have this odd, uncontrolable ability to look at a wall and know what should be there. Sometimes I wish I did not have it (I think you can figure why!) but usually it is pretty easy to take into account the details of the building, and then what I want to work to emote, and go from there.
I do wish had had the opportunity to do this earlier in life, when I was more physically fit to do it. As much as I bitch, when they are hung, there is this glorious moment of complete Zen......
And I am taking a break, so don't worry! :D


Leslie said...

Unbelievably awesome! I bow to your greatness!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Get up Leslie! At our age, if we bow, we may get stuck!!! LOL!!
(thank you anyway....)


Elena said...

\\\\ There does that look like a 'virtual bow' to the greatness of your creativity? I'm awed. They're huge and beautiful and amazed at the work involved. Esp. the sewing! Rest dear Anne and thank you for the wonderful comment on my blog. Great to have you in my support group (HA)!

The Garden Bell said...


Should I go on.....


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

These are worth your destroyed thumb nerves.
They're marvelous. Really really marvelous.
Good on you!

Anonymous said...

Amazing is not strong enough word for what you have created. I have helped my sister in law do banners for our church but nothing that heavy and decorated. It is gorgeous. Anne please rest. We can't loose the beautiful work you do.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

According to my thesaurus, there are many words for 'incredible'...ones like 'unbelievable, remarkable, unimaginable, awesome, amazing, astounding, and astonishing'. All of those words cover both the banners AND you, the creator. I have no other words.

Marie S said...

Anne the banners are absolutely gorgeous. You did a fabulous job.
I really love the trim and the tassels too!
So much work involved in these, they are just amazing.
The things we do to our bodies for our art.

Thanks so much Anne. Using the different colors does make a big difference doesn't it? I use the same face on all of the Iron angels too. But just handling it while I shape it changes the expression just enough.
Have a wonderful day!!
Love and hugs

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Elena,

I need all the support groups I can get! The post surgery pounds just keep on comin'!!! (and my mouth hasn't the sense to stay shut and just say no....LOL!!!)
Thanks for the words on the banners. *beam!*


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Kate, Darling.....!

Go ON!
Go ON! :D

Just joking of course...I am humbled....thank you!!!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Tristan----wanna trade thumbs??? Because as lovely as they turned out, it is not worth the pain!
Hmmm, without the use of that digit, does that push me back to swinging from a long tail as opposed to standing and walking erect? LOL!!!!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi QMM--

Ah, someone that has done this deed too. They never *look* that daunting, do they?
A lot of our churches here are older, so the walls are huge, and small banners never work; in fact, that has been what has brought me requests---that they fit the architecture of the church.
believe is on the plate! :)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hi M.A.

I think you must have missed "complete raving maniac" in that description, because that is what I *feel* like I am during the whole process! HA! (it is probably a good thing I work alone....)
Grazie! Grazie! :)


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Marie!

Oh yes, I remember the PT and I was thinking that crawling on the table would be a healthy way to keep those muscles limber!!! I take it you don't agree??? SNARF!!! Seriously, I had no choice but to do that with each one; I could not tell if the letters were aligned properly without standing and looking down. I just did it carefully.
I am so much enjoying your *Iron Angel* series...and how the faces all emote something a bit different. I know the colors are part of it too, but the subtle change of the clay in your hands gives each their personality! BRAVO!!!


Susie Jefferson said...

Anne - this is absolutely stunning and absolutely beautiful. All that hard work was SO worthwhile. I bet you were a bit teary-eyed when you delivered them. Beautiful, just beautiful.

*Ulrike* said...

Wow! That was a lot of work, and I'm sure it will be very much appreciated! I think my fingers would have been numb though!!

Julie ZS said...

These are beyond fabulous Anne, I'm so glad that they appreciated this tremendous accomplishment. So beautiful my friend.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hey Julie,

You have NO IDEA how glad I was to hang these. It was like taking away a year of bad memories, and having something beautiful in the end.
Which makes no sense, but, oh well. That's the only way I can describe it!


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