Thursday, 21 June 2012

25. Goliath de Drury Journal Quilt

Time for the next Journal Quilt already. Some weeks really seem to fly past. For new readers of this blog I started a one year long project at the beginning of 2012 where I aim to make one journal quilt a week for every week this year. So far I'm pleased to say I'm on track. You can see all the previous ones by clicking on the 52 Journals label below this post or you can see them in the quick slideslow in the side bar. 

This week's one came to be after I purchased a wonderful vintage French book bound for a library setting as you can see below. I would have bought it regardless of the contents, merely for the binding alone. But the contents proved to be fascinating. The book is called: Moeurs et Instincts des Animaux and written by F. A. Pouchet (who was the "ancien directeur du museum d'histoire naturelle de Rouen" no less) and published in 1887 by Librairie Hachette in Paris. It is adorned with the most wonderful engravings which are now all in the public domain, so no need to worry about copyright.
This insect as seen below was virtually the first thing I saw when I started to leaf through the book. I assumed Goliath de Drury was it's name until I started to read and realized that the insect in question is a Goliath beetle and it was first discovered and drawn by Dru Drury (is that truly his real name?! It appears to be so.), a British entomologist who lived from 1725-1804 and could first be seen in his book Illustrations of Natural History published from 1780-1782. The insect's official name is Goliath giganteus and is not the sort of beetle I want to come across in real life. It's about 12 centimeters in length and is among the heaviest of insects.  Fortunately I probably won't ever meet one as they live in the tropical regions of Africa.

But what amazing detail in this drawing soI set to work to transform it into a journal quilt, using tracing paper to stitch it onto a gold and sepia painted fabric which was very much like the colour of the book pages. After stitching I coloured it in, using artistic licence to decide on the colour scheme, and Tsukineko inks. The stitching acted as a sort of resist for this process. To make some of the stitching lines more defined I backstitched them by hand in colours matching the inks. The rest of the quilt (A4 size) was free-machine echo quilted. I added 3 little pictures of the same insect as shown as well as the title at the bottom (all were printed onto a fabric sheet in order to do so). Of course I added beading too. I found a commercial batik fabric which picked up the colours I had used perfectly and that became the binding.


Lenna Young Andrews said...

wow, no matter how many times I read about your process, I still delight in discovering how your pieces come to be! This particular one is so interesting with the beetle itself, the history & the stitching!! You are doing so remarkably well with the goal you have set for yourself. Do you think you will exhibit all 52 together?? How are you keeping them now at home that your collection is growing?? wow! xoxox

Linda said...

sometimes living in a cold climate has it's advantages. Enjoy reading materials/techniques you used in the quilt


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