Margaret Blank – Rural Rhythms
Unlike our last challenge, “Connected”, I knew right from the start what I wanted to do for “Rhythms”. For the past several months, once or twice a month, I have been contracted to pick up a cooler of flash-frozen beef from a local free-range cattle rancher, and take it into town for transfer to a “whole foods” service. Last fall, for the first time, I had a “close encounter” with several of the cattle as they were grazing on the land just outside the rancher’s fenced yard, and wandering all along the lane-way up to the gate near the ranch house. On my way out of the yard with the goods in the trunk, I stopped to take some photos of the cattle, including the fellow in the above photo. N.B: this is a zoomed-in version of the photo – at no time were any of them that close to my car!
When the subject “Rhythms” came up, I was reminded of the cattle and their contented munching on the ranch land…the rhythm of chewing their cud, of wandering the fields, the rhythm of daily routines for the rancher, his cattle, his crops, the seasons on which he must base his farm practice. “Rural Rhythms” was born.
Materials: hand-dyed and commercial cottons, hand-dyed cheesecloth (scrim), natural wool batt, InkTense ® pencil, Fabrico ® marker pen, fusible web, cotton and polyester threads.
Techniques: fusible appliqué, free-motion quilting, thread painting, fabric colouring, needle felting.