Work in Progress: Adinkra-Inspired Wall Hanging

This week, I completed another in my series of mixed media wall hangings inspired by African textiles.  I did another set of photographs for my Kindred Spirit Studios Facebook page, and here they are, with additional information about the process:

Inspiration fabric
The first image is my inspiration fabric.  I found this piece of polished cotton in my stash from when I was doing my Ancestress Series shadow box masks. ' Don't remember those?  Look here.   The pattern here doesn't contain Adinkra symbols, but they remind me of them, and I loved the almost playful, seemingly random arrangement. 

Even the paper towel was pretty!
I created two 2"x2" foam stamps with similar symbols, and tested them on various colors of painted paper.  Here is the paper towel I used to clean the stamps before using them on the wall hanging. 

Side panels taped off and painted
Stamped symbols on side panel
I knew I wanted bright side panels and a dark central panel on the wall hanging, so I painted the sides with a combination of acrylic paints and inks, including some gold metallic.  For the thin borders, I used a Pthalo blue, and stamped the symbols in the still-wet paint, which produced a subtle, color-on-color pattern.

Next, I printed the symbols with Chestnut Roan chalk ink, varying the positions and combinations as I went along. 

The circular polymer clay pieces came next, and I added texture with carving tools and my own hand carved stamps, including the ones I used for the side panels (in the large, center circle). 

Raw, uncured clay elements, including the bar I ultimately
decided not to use.
Cured, textured, colored clay elements
Once they were cured, I added the color layers; micaceous iron oxide first, then various PearlEx powders, glazes, and pearlescent acrylic paints.  Once all were colored, I knew what color the central panel would be:  a rich, chocolaty brown.  And when I arranged the clay elements on the central panel, I decided not to include the horizontal bar I'd created for the top. 

Sometimes, the assembly phase is a surprise; what I thought would work doesn't, and I have to solve the problem how to proceed.  I think removing that element was the right decision, and as a bonus, the wall hanging can now be hung either vertically as I designed it, or horizontally.  The final touch was to add two African brass beads to both ends of the line of clay elements.  

I really love this piece; it's so great when an inspiration, plan and execution come together in a satisfying way...I cherish those works, don't you?  

The final piece:  11 3/4" x 24"


Penny A said…
WOW! ...just, wow! This piece is incredible. ...and it is such a treat to 'go behind the curtains' and see how it all comes together. This one may be my favorite *so far* in this new series -- I can't wait to see what comes next :)