Thursday, May 17, 2012

Radiolarians

It seems I can't get enough of couching around lace motifs to add to crazy quilt blocks...


I have been searching for shapes and forms that reflect the flora and fauna found on the beach to use as inspiration for the embellishment of this shell block.

This is the second block in a row where I cannot fall back on the use of flowers to decorate seams etc.

Even though I do miss the flowers, the challenge has been fun for me.  My search took me to the library where I found this book of illustrations by Ernst Haeckel, a German biologist and naturalist who lived and worked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


This guy contributed greatly to biology and plant physiology by discovering, identifying and naming thousands of species.  I had no idea.   I was just looking for some block inspiration...

Well, I found it.


Haeckel was also an illustrator and this book is full of his drawings of microscopic life forms, similar to the amoeba, called radiolarians.  Radiolarians are free-swimming protozoa that live in all of the earth's oceans.

And even though they are too tiny to see with the naked eye, their forms and structures seem to map some of the larger sea forms we can see in the ocean such as sea stars, urchins, etc.

I was infatuated and have been using it to inspire some of the seam treatments on my block.

I bought this hole-y trim a while back not knowing what I would use it for...


And today it came out of the box and into action.  It's called Spider Web Ribbon and you can find it at  Flights of Fancy boutique.  I think it remotely resembles the hole-y and spiky quality of some of the shapes on the beach.

Today, I'm trying to finish up the base seam treatments for the block so I should be able to share a full- block update next post.

See you then.

17 comments:

FlowerLady said...

This is fantastic! I just can't believe what you come up with.

I can hardly wait to see what you show us next.

FlowerLady

Judy S. said...

HI There! You're posts are always so interesting, Susan. This is going to be another fun and spectacular block! I love the colors, too, especially the thread you found that's almost the same color as the coral...is it coral? It's a little crazy here...another big Sunday. A new work for this part of the country by a Norwegian-born composer...living yet!

Mirabilys said...

Wow, nice beginning! I love the left bottom lace. And this book seems to be great! I'm very interested to follow the process and the genesis of your work. It's fabulous to discover how ideas come to your mind and how you translate this into your project. Please, Suzan , forgive in advance my faltering english... I hope I'm not writing silly things ;-)

dlogan said...

Hi Susan,
Love your research search. Nothing better than art and science. My question is this, are your crazy patch fabric shapes hand stitched down to the base foundation fabric? I have done all my crazy patch foundation blocks on the sewing machine, and then I embellish by hand. I was just curious about your proces:) Thanks! Darby

gracie said...

As usual another beautiful and interesting piece...

Rachel said...

That's a fascinating trim - and yes, rather like elements of the drawings!

Suztats said...

Very cool stuff! Love the holey ribbon, too.
Wonderful beginning!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Only YOU would make this creative connection between bits of lace and microscopic organisms. What an eye!! I think there is a whole other person hiding inside you absorbing everything you see then whispers reminders when you begin a project. Your inner person sees all that no one else even notices.
xx, Carol

Catherine said...

It never ceases to amaze me, the depth of research and thought you put into your pieces ~ and the beauty it always leads to as you put your heart and soul into every tiny detail.

Julie said...

What a great book to find for your inspiration - look forward to seeing this beautiful work.

Createology said...

Its so wonderful when we have something in our stash that we had to have but didn't have a clue what we would do with...until...
What a divine book you have found with so much inspiration for your sea-life stitching. Fully Inspired...

Wendy said...

I can already tell this is going to be another awesome block created by you. That lace is just amazing!

Heather M. said...

Susan, I too, can't wait to see how this block turns out. I love your work. That ribbon looks very 'seaside' to me. I don't know how different the shore is from West to East coast, but here (British Columbia) we have lots of anenomes and kelp in our tide pools. But judging by the 'sandy' colour of your fabrics it isn't going to be representative of our green and brown beaches!

maire said...

Susan, I love how your mind works...

Cathy K said...

Cue the Twilight Zone music! Bruce just came home from work today (from The Leonardo, a science/ technology/art museum here in SLC) and started talking about these to me as I was reading you blog post. Major goose bumps. Neither one of us had heard of them before, but The Leo is gearing up for Water Month in June, where the art, science projects and interactive displays will all be built around that theme.

I already love this block you are working on, and treasure every word you post!!

Hugs, Cat

elmsley rose said...

I thought of suggesting the Bibliodessey site to you for ocean based design ideas, and have found that today Peakay has featured some Asian images of fish! (rather peculiar ones). If you would like an additional source of inspiration, B'y would be a great site to have a look - thousands of images from old books held on-line. http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com.au/ If you need some guidance, I'm sure that Peakay would be happy to help :-) I find a lot of inspiration from his blog.

flower friend said...

I agree his books are a great inspiration.There is also his art forms in nature book. My daughter gained inspiration from these unusual forms for part of her degree course.I love the lace, so delicate.

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