Gossamer is a great word – soft and ethereal. But, man, it is challenging, too. I looked up the definition right away. I knew the sheer gauzy fabric part, but not the bit about cobwebs. That little part stuck in my head. I could not get spiders out of my brain.
My first thought was to knit something super lacy out of soft mohair yarn. There was that problem of my wrist and how I really can’t knit right now. Then I planned to use the yarn and fabric and make some kind of multi-fiber collage/web thing, but I had to give up on that too. I couldn’t find a suitable fabric. The closest I saw was a silk chiffon, but I didn’t think it would hold up to applique. In retrospect, I probably should have at least tried. In the end, I turned to paper and my sewing machine and my gocco.
My inspiration came about two weeks ago when looking out the kitchen window, I saw the teeniest, tiniest lime green spider, suspended in mid air. Looking closer, I saw that she was suspended from her own thread right there behind my screen. At first glance I had seen right through it. And there she was, getting ready to spin a web perhaps. Maybe not – she may have been traveling from one point to another. Regardless, gossamer popped into my head.
First, I drew a graph to make the window screen. I printed this on vellum using the gocco. Then, I stitched the spider on a piece of muslin using free motion quilting. After I copied it, I made my second gocco screen. I printed the thread portion in white and the spider in green. The white is hardly visible, you really have to look to see it.
I printed the screen grid on one side of the paper and the spider on the other side. I was going for transparency – I hope I got it.
When Shari gave us this word, I would have never imagined it would lead me here. In my head this word is so floaty and ethereal and what I made is not. Plain and simple, I am a bit disappointed with the outcome.
I tried amending this print – adding to it, mounting it, but I think it is best its simplest form. I know that part of my disappointment stems from uneven printing. And because I am a procrastinator, I didn’t have any time to try it differently. But, as Emily reminded me, wordplay is about the process. It’s interesting to look back and see how I got to this point. I can’t help but wonder if I didn’t have tendinitis, would I have gone a different route? If I hadn’t spent half of the six weeks down in the dumps, would I have seen inspiration elsewhere? What if I had bought the silk chiffon? If I hadn’t seen that spider, what would I have done differently?