Mention the weather
When you describe the town
How near it lays
To where you were born

How flat the sky
Covers all sleeping things
As dreamers we often see

Remember the light
That shines beneath doorways
How birds hang motionless
Beating their wings

And the words that are offered
Repeated, suspended
Between the new man
New woman
And all living things

Robin Holcomb, “Waltz”

My Ground Cloths are textile constructions which map the invisible as well as the visible. They incorporate what is remembered or imagined as well as what is seen and depict what I’ve encountered as well as what is lost or forgotten.

Although these constructions have the two-sided, reversible nature of the Terrain Squares they have no restrictions as to size, scale or media. For the first two series of Ground Cloths, I laminated inkjet prints of my images onto translucent voile fabric using a screen printing technique developed by Claire Benn, Jane Dunnewold and Leslie Morgan. These fragile (but persistent) images incorporate the map and respond to specific locations as I, for example, consider the conjunction (in my memory) of town (Dunning) and geology (Toadstool) or remember the the sound of the ice flows on the Platte River near Louisville.

Two mirrored works, Niobrara Reflections, are situated at the confluence of the Niobrara and the MIssouri. As I stitched I remembered the moonlight on the water and wondered what messages the river might be sending us. These pieces use eco-and rust-printed art cloth by Arlee Barr and my handwritten text was made into a thermofax by Lyric Kinard.

In a developing series, Prairie Skin, I am designing modules which will link together to form a large-scale, organic and functional patchwork. I’m expanding my vocabulary of hand-stitched marks, using my own hand-dyed and soy-wax printed fabric as well as snippets of vintage fabrics from Deb Lacativa. As I explore a wide range of surface design processes, I’ve also been recalling my first “map,” a construction with embedded seeds which was a musing on what if the map showing the location of something precious were also precious itself.

Inkjet images laminated to voile fabric

Creating a temporary screen for paper laminating

Dunning-Toadstool (Sections 032-011)

Back of Dunning-Toadstool with map

Platte River and detail of Louisville (Section 052)

Sylvia Cox embroidering section numbers in braille

Generating hand-written text for Niobrara Reflection I

Stitching Niobrara Reflection I

Niobrara State Park

Niobrara River at Fort Niobrara

Hand-dying samples

Vintage fabrics from Deb Lacativa

Seed Map