I was exceedingly busy during the months of September and October creating a piece of textile art for a contest hosted by Talenthouse. The object of the contest was to create a one-of-a-kind, show-stopping shawl for Stevie Nicks. As a long time Stevie fan, I had to pull out all of the stops and create something very special! After putting in 18 hours of work a day for over 30 days straight, I literally worked my fingers to the bone. After all of those hours of feverish work, it took most of the month of November to clean and organize my work area again. I am now rested enough to get back on a regular schedule. It was one of those pieces that drain all of the creativity out of you for a long while.
To spite all of my toilings, Stevie did not pick my entry and I did not win the contest. While I was disappointed that she will never wear my shawl, it wasn’t a completely unexpected loss. My art is more for display and less for wearing and with that in mind, I wasn’t too sad over the loss. People ended up loving my work and I was super excited to see that Talenthouse not only followed my Instagram and liked my Facebook page (which they didn’t do for any of the other entrants), they also featured my art on their Facebook page (with over 450,000 followers) and their Instagram (also something they didn’t do for any other entrants, other than the winner). Their post about my entry received over 1,200 likes and the individual images tallied over 500 likes in addition to those. While I know that wouldn’t mean much to some more widely followed bloggers/artists, I’ve been out of the game for a while, so it was especially thrilling for me to get so much unsolicited support from strangers! I was surprised that it received three times the number of likes and shares as their featured post of the two winner’s shawls. That definitely compensated for not winning and I feel like even though they won the money, I ended up getting far more exposure of my work than the winner did.
I titled my shawl “Anthology”. I chose the name due to it being comprised of visual impressions and interpretations of lyrics taken from my favorite Stevie Nicks songs and videos, as well as notable points throughout her career. The embellishment includes a variety of techniques such as embroidery, beading, 3D fabric manipulation, painting, stumpwork, applique and the illusions that various textures can create. The art on the shawl is 100% hand stitched and all of the materials utilized in the construction of this artwork consist of either vintage or recycled items, excluding the base, which was purchased new. Some of the materials employed include velvets, silks, leather, lace, taffeta, cashmere, organza, sequins, shell and beads in wood, gold plate, clay, dichroic glass, Swarovski crystal and tiger’s eye.
Below is an abbreviated “tour” across the shawl with detailed photos and a short note explaining the connection between each element in the piece and the song that it references.