Flying to the moon and stars
Several months ago, a call went out to make pieces of fiber art regarding different aspects of the moon–songs, and then the astronauts themselves. I drew Richard Gordon.
I hunted for photographs. There were many formal ones, in their suits or their astronaut gear holding their helmets. But I picked this one–Dick is checking something on his astronaut suit.
As usual, I downloaded the photo, enlarged it and then did some drawings to figure out shapes. Yes, the photo was not copyrighted, and yes I do draw the image. I could trace it, but photographs don’t always give the proportions our eyes see. And drawing reinforces the muscle memory I will need for the actual stitching.
The size of the piece was specified and so I chose blue to represent the sky and the world beyond and earth tones for the world we live on. I cut pieces of appropriate fabric for the face, hand, and space suit–notice the lettering on that fabric. The inner lining of the spacesuit is a traditional calico that was one of my maternity dresses–suggesting a new beginning.
Each piece is then needle-turned by hand appliqued in place.
Then the fun begins. I stitch using a large variety of colors to form the features. This can take about two or three days.
Next the piece is placed on a backing, quilted around the edges of the image, squared up, bound, a sleeve added plus a series of washers on the bottom to add weight and ensure even hanging on display.
That piece has now made it to Virginia where it will travel for up to four years and perhaps be part of a book on the subject.
Here are some more photos of the steps plus the entire piece. https://sylviaweirphotos.smugmug.com/Art/Astronaut-Dick-Gordon/