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Discoveries Along The Way

by Lisa-Marie Sanders

It started with free fabric; who could resist? I needed to have a piece of furniture reupholstered and at the shop was a cabinet of remnants. I asked the owner if she sold the remnants. She said yes but when she heard I wanted to use them in an artwork, she told me to take whatever I wanted. For free! Boy did I go crazy.

To me, the poem Ithaka is profound and layered, and I want my work in this series to represent the depth and texture of the journey. The upholstery fabrics seemed perfect for this task. “Discoveries Along the Way” was inspired by the plush, shiny, woven and dense fabrics I acquired from the upholstery store.

The Ithaka phrases “full of discovery”, “many fine things” and “coral, amber and ebony” influenced my choice of specific fabrics, palette and the random approach to construction. Where possible, I tore fabric to create the strips. When I cut, it was freehand with scissors. I wanted there to be frayed edges and uneven lines; similar to the path of discovery which can be ragged and winding.

I began with random strips of neutral upholstery fabrics. I added red silk to contrast the color and density of other fabrics. As I continued building a patchwork of fabrics, I added velvet and commercial cottons and a variety of synthetics. I also included a gold acetate that appears almost holographic in bright light although it is difficult to replicate in a photograph.

After the random pieces were stitched in place, I appliqued metallic mesh circles. Finally, I couched ribbons in circles of red and gold. I haven’t decided whether I will feature these interesting fabrics in all my pieces or just this one, but it was quite an adventure working with them.

Discoveries Along the Way measures 43 3/4" H by 44 1/4" W


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