Thursday, December 15, 2005

House of Gold, Pray for Us

House of Gold Pray for Us
Barbara Curiel

This piece evolved out of a stained silk tunic with elaborate beading that I wanted to find a new life for. I also wanted to make a gold Madonna piece with a lot of beading. The challenge to me in making this quilt was to use recycled elements, but to mask their origin and to integrate them into the piece as a whole.

I attached the beaded silk to a flannel foundation and added elements, including New York Beauty squares pieced from old brocade and metallic printed cotton, and some antique lace. The whole piece was beaded and sequined by hand. It was then sewn to Peltex, and the “roof” is Peltex covered with brocade. I had to think through the construction of the roof and the binding, and ended up attaching the roof and then applying a single-layer binding.

I added phrases taken from the Great Mary Litany, one of the most beautiful pieces of liturgical poetry, with machine embroidery around the edges. The phrases I used are from a series of poetic images which describe the Madonna in architectural terms: Tower of David,
Palace of Ivory,
House of Gold,
Ark of the Covenant,
Gate of Heaven,
Temple of the Divinity,
Throne of the Eternal King,
Sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
Keeper of the portal. The whole prayer is beautiful, but these images expressed what I was trying to articulate with my work: that Mary is a refuge and a pillar of lasting strength.


Jules said...

Barbara, this piece is incredible. I am actually sitting here speechless. It is truly a fitting tribute to the Madonna, mother of Jesus. And a beautiful reminder of what this season is about. Thank you for sharing.

Debra Spincic said...

dear Barbara,
What a breathtaking piece! Just gorgeous! you captured the majesty of Madonna so beautifully. One of your best pieces by far.

Allison said...

Barbara, this piece renews my faith in art quilts! is so lovely, innovative, and beautifully executed...and best of all, it is a serious take on a holy subject.
Congratulations on a major accomplishment!!!

Karoda said...

It is amazing, truly amazing work!

Rian said...

Barbara, this is an incredible work of art. Big wow--it's fantastic!

Micki said...

your piece is absolutely breathtaking. the embelishments are wonderful.

Barbara C said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. This was definitely a project which taught me a lot.

Linda said...

It looks amazing.

Samantha said...

Stunning. The embellishments are amazing.

Olenka said...

Echoes of all the adjectives already here written, combined with my first feeling at seeing your beautiful quilt add up to: a blessing. It conveys to me the blessing one feels when turning to the Madonna for help or thanksgiving. Wonderful!

Sandysue said...

I just love all the goodies you have put on your MaDonna piece. Very nice job..........