Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Devil's Marbles - Karlu Karlu

The central motif of this quilt is from a photograph I took on tour in the Australian Outback.  Getting it on to fabric was a technique learned in an "Images in applique" class with Jenny Bowker.  The ideas for extending it beyond the original photograph are my own concepts and play with a contemporary look, and the idea of the Devil's marbles rolling across the landscape, being formed and broken.

The quilt is hand quilted using back stitches to give the appearance of solid lines, sometimes broken with running stitches as the wind wips across the outback.

Artists Statement:
"The 'big sky' as it carries along dust particles in bursts of stacatto; shaping the landscape.  The morsecode of stitching; of the movement of the wind: short, short, long.  Shapes within lines; deliberate messages of the dreaming.  226.20 hours of hand quilting.

Materials: cotton, batiks; Valdani variegated threads; polyester batting.
Techniques: applique

Dreaming Stories:
There are many dreaming stories for Karlu Karlu.  My work is based upon the tradition of Arrange, the Devil Man who travelled through the area.  He made a hair-string belt  while walking.  as he went along twisting and twirling the hair to make strings, he dropped clusters on the ground and it is these that turned into the boulders so famous today.

The Devil's Marbles are made of granite formed millions of years ago as a result of the hardening of magma within the earth's crust.  Thick layers of laid down on top of the sandstone put pressure on the granite.  The folding of the earth's crust, lead to the lifting of the granite and the erosion of the sandstone.  Without the pressure of the sandstone, the granite in a square block expands, cracks form and eventually the granite falls apart forming square blocks.  Over time these are exposed to water and wind.

The rounding of the granite blocks is a result of spheroidal weathering - thin layers of rock come off the boulder. weathering has its most effect on areas with edges.  The boulders are exposed to the heat of the sun and extreme temperatures between night and day causing them to expand and shrink every 24 hours and it is this that causes some of the rocks to sometimes split in half.

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