August 31, 2015

A New Textile: "Overlap"

Overlap, hand dyed wool on linen, 10 x 21 1/2 in.

Two overlapping circles, pushed to the right by a field of gray, or are they moving to the left? As the circles overlap at their centers, they form a pointed shape called a vesica piscis, a "fish's bladder. It's a shape I first learned about when I began to do my series of drawings based on Islamic design. The vesica piscis is seen in sacred art; it is the shape that often encloses Christian religious figures. I understand how this came about: a circle is a perfect form, so two circles intersecting would yield something transcendent.  

Overlap detail

However....there's nothing sacred in this design; for me it's simply an interesting pattern. When I began this piece, I had the usual decision to make about the direction of the hooking: should I make it circular? I didn't think that would work, because then what would happen with the overlapping shape? So I went for a simple horizontal, vertical, diagonal. The colors of the circles were mixed to achieve the orange of the center shape.

Overlap detail

For the background––a gray with some of the pink and yellow added to it in spot dyeing––I used an random pattern; I think the irregularity of the hooking does help it to sit back, not claiming much attention....except for the push it gives the circles.


  1. The arabesques in the background remind me of similar harmonic patterns in ancient cobblestone paving.

    1. ...possibly human-scaled windshield-wipering...