Archive for the ‘Eastern Europe in Stitches’ Category

I started using found objects in my art quilts when I was living in Pittsburgh. I lived, worked and had my studio in an old industrial area called Lawrenceville, which inspired much of my artwork. The streets were a source of interesting detritus, which I had the idea of sewing into the quilts.  Here is an example: Walking Sketches, 20 x 20″, 2013.

walking sketches 20 x 20 lo res.jpg

When I moved to the country (Berks County in eastern PA) in 2014, I hesitantly continued to use them in rural landscapes. In the Morning I Am So Tall, 2014, is an example. I was blending the found objects with the values and colors in the piece, but I found it an uneasy alliance. The detritus didn’t come from those locations, and I was never sure the idea was working.

Still, I was and am attracted to the concept of the pieces representing an “archeological thumbprint” — markings made by humans as we traversed the world.

In the Morning I am So Tall small

I stopped using them in the rural landscapes last year. This is Red Roof, Purple Sky, 16 x 20″, 2018.

purple sky red roof lo res.jpg

I still was able to draw upon the “archeological thumbprint idea” thru incorporation of old lace, and sometimes papers — things that did come from this geographical area.

One piece that worked well was “Wild Turkey Parade,” where the found objects became turkeys parading through our meadow. Here is a detail of Wild Turkey Parade 1, 2015.

Wild Turkey Parade 1 detail lo res

The found objects still call to me.  My collection has built back up, after I got rid of most things last year.

They found their place in the Eastern Europe in Stitches series I did last year, as we travelled through that area. Visits to flea markets were a great source. Here is Secrets of Prague, 5 x 7″ 2018.

Secrets of Prague lo res

I became enamored of used postage stamps in particular. I often looked up the story behind a person or historical reference. Thus the tiny quilts encased worlds within worlds — secret histories to explore.

Here is Nicolaus, Karl and George, three unlikely postage stamps companions. 5 x 7″, 2018.

 

Nicolaus Karl and George lo res

Just recently I’ve returned to an earlier idea of creating little birds and other creatures from the found objects in the quilts. Here is Krazy Kat, 5 x 7″ inspired by a Walmart hanger that I didn’t really mean to bring home!

Krazy Kat

For 2019 I want to continue using them, both in created creatures, and in little quilts that represent a place or idea.

My stock is building back up! Here’s what I brought home just yesterday. So, stay tuned!

Found objects 1 3 19

I’ve just completed new work in the Eastern Europe in Stitches series. I’m getting ready to hang a show of the complete body of work at Judy’s on Cherry in Reading on Monday.  The reception will be Thursday, November 15, 5-7 PM. The show is called Doubletake East, because my husband Jay Ressler will also show his work from our trip to Eastern Europe. Contrast and compare!

Peoples violin

Of the stamps from DDR (East Germany), one says Musikinstrumente der Volker. Musical instruments of the people. Are they any differents from the others I wonder?

Martha Ressler, “People’s Violin,” 8 x 10 framed.  Art Quilt, hand stitched with found objects and stamps from Germany.

relativity framed 8 x 10

An image of Albert Einstein from the remaining pieces of the Berlin Wall. He lived in Berlin for many years until he left for the United States in 1933 when Hitler came to power.

Martha Ressler, “Relativity,” 8 x 10 framed. Art Quilt, drawn and hand stitched with found objects and stamps from Germany and the US.

mystery figure framed 8 x 10

A mysterious hooded and winged figure, painted on the Berlin Wall. Who is it? Part of Eastern Europe in Stitches series.

Martha Ressler, “Mystery Figure,”  8 x 10 framed. Art Quilt, drawn and hand stitched with found objects and stamps from Germany.

tear down this wall fraed 8 x 10

An image from the remaining pieces of the Berlin wall captures the exuberant feeling of freedom in 1990.

Martha Ressler, “Tear Down this Wall,”  8 x 10 framed. Art Quilt, drawn and hand stitched with found objects and stamps from Germany.

raise a glass framed 8 x 10

Most of Germany’s wine is produced in the Western part of the country, except for the Saxony region, along the Elbe River, near Dresden. I particularly enjoyed the Golden Reisling!

Martha Ressler, “Raise a Glass.” 8 x 10 framed. Art Quilt, hand stitched with found objects  from Germany (and Cuba and Czech Republic).