Joan Brailsford – Motion – The golden age of steam
When this month’s topic was announced, I immediately had a picture in my mind of what I wanted use, to convey a sense of movement. I am very fond of the art deco style, and have seen images of trains and transport from that era, and in particular the title sequences of the TV show ‘Hecules Poirot’ (sorry if this is a bit low-brow!).
The title of the piece seemed obvious me, and so I wanted the piece to have a golden glow. For that reason I wanted the train to have an industrial colour-way, but the rest of the piece to be a warm yellow colour, so I included the sun and sunbeams as part of the motif. The whole piece needed to have strong, clean lines with geometric patterning where possible.
I researched images of that style and made a sort of composite of some that I thought depicted the movement I wanted. I used a single piece of fabric for the train engine, and pieced the carriage separately. I stitched the outlines of the train features, and used acrylic paint to define the engine parts and the shading. I used transfer coloured, and spattered sheers for the steam, tunnel and sunbeams, and hand dyed cotton for the sun. I added extra lines of quilting to echo the lines of the sunbeams. To finish I used a fabric with a geometric pattern for the border, but one which was not stark, and which has a warm tone.
I did not want to ‘complicate’ the design by adding more quilting, because that did not fit in with the art deco style which I had in mind. I hope that this can be forgiven.
Close up view: