Painting and Quilting in 3D

RECONSTRUCTED SHARDS...quilted vessel...33h X 10w X 7d
RECONSTRUCTED SHARDS…quilted vessel…33h X 10w X 7d

I’ve been painting and quilting, but assembling the pieces in a different way.

This year, the Clay Festival has a central theme of vessels.  Although most calls are for clay, there is one call that is open to other mediums.  The Neo-Mimbreno exhibit prospectus states: “The artist should depict, through two-dimensional or three-dimensional media, their interpretation of a vessel.  The work must be inspired by the prehistoric Mimbreno culture of the Southwest.”  My quilt, MIMBRES SECTION, used many Mimbres pottery symbols, so I figured I could use those symbols in a different way.  I painted and printed individual pieces, or “shards”, using different images, cut them apart and layered them on gray felt and black canvas.  I quilted each piece individually and hand stitched them together to “reconstruct” the pieces into a whole.

Originally, the shape of the vessel was to be wider, shorter, and sloped inward at the top to a narrow opening.  I constructed a wire support system in that shape, but then realized that the “shards” would not easily adapt to the narrowing aperture without darts or pleats…or SOMETHING!  I am not very adept at working with a heavy wire cage (and had cuts and pokes on my hands and arms to prove it), so I was not too happy to toss it after all my efforts.  I realized I needed to keep the body of the vessel simpler… with a gentle slope.  It ended up being almost three feet tall.   I made a lid to place on top of the body and things fit together well…no wire cage needed as a support.  I used a stiff interfacing to keep the shape and to mold the top.  This detail shot may help illustrate my description.


I submitted this piece in answer to the call…we’ll see…from the studio


  1. It’s wonderful! Having a wire form is one way. Another is to use something like Timtex. Cameron Mason makes 3D textile vessels. I really like this one.

    1. Thanks, Jeanne. I think the “interfacing” I ended up using for support may be Timtex, but I had three different ones wrapped on a bolt and I didn’t know for sure it that one was the Timtex. Whatever it was, it worked!

    1. Thanks! Now that I have done one, I have learned the technical aspects of assembling it. If I ever decide to do more, I feel I can work the design to fit the shape I want to create. Sue

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