Susan Slesinger – Monoprint -Rabbit in the Moon


The idea of a rabbit in the moon is found in numerous cultures including those of eastern Asia, and Mesoamerica.  This is based on seeing figures in the moon (which are actually craters filled with lava called maria.) Meantime, in European culture people generally refer to a man in the moon, due to the different view of the moon.

A number of tales have been woven about the rabbit in the moon.  In the Buddhist Jataka tales a monkey, an otter, a jackal, and a rabbit resolved to practice charity on the day of the full Moon believing a demonstration of great virtue would earn a great reward. When an old man begged for food, the monkey gathered fruits from the trees and the otter collected fish, while the jackal wrongfully pilfered a lizard and a pot of milk-curd. The rabbit, who knew only how to gather grass, instead offered its own body, throwing itself into a fire the man had built. The rabbit, however, was not burnt. The old man revealed himself to be Śakra and, touched by the rabbit’s virtue, drew the likeness of the rabbit on the Moon for all to see. It is said the lunar image is still draped in the smoke that rose when the rabbit cast itself into the fire.

In my interpretation of the theme, the rabbit is trying to escape the madness associated with full moons.  This was the first project I have done using monoprinting.  I used several monoprint techniques on Gelli plates, including stencils and texturing the paint to create the fabric for the background, moon and rabbit.

Techniques used: Monoprinting on Kona cotton and commercially printed cotton fabrics using jacquard Textile, Neopaque and Lumiere paint, raw edge fused appliqué, fabric mosaic, machine quilting and embroidery, and hand embroidery.  I learnt from Diane Vincent  that it is fine to applique through all three layers of the quilt, a technique I used in this project.

Materials:  Commercial screen printed cotton fabrics, batik fabric, Kona cotton, Jacquard Textile, Neopaque and Lumiere paints, cotton batting, cotton and polyester threads, Swarovski hot fix crystals.

sslesinger RabbitinMoon



  1. Lovely monoprint background with a well quilted whimsical subject.Congrats on a fine piece of work.

  2. What an interesting story behind this piece. I particularly like the fabric you created for the moon.

  3. I like the moon too ! and the story behind the quilt made me smile !

  4. I like the interpretation, which came first the idea or the printing?


    What a nice story and a lovely rabbit. Various techniques used and a good idea to print on commercially printed fabric, that gives a whole new dimension to the prints.

  6. I like all elements of your piece and the story behind it is charming. I particularly like the background that captures the depth of the night sky

  7. What a beautiful piece. I love the story, the printed background and moon. The crystals makes for a nice sparkle.

  8. I love this piece. It’s simple and direct. You capture the movement the story projects.

  9. I like your cheerful little rabbit. The printed textures are great.

  10. The rabbit is really jumping of the moon. I never saw a rabbit on the moon, but maybe he jumped of. Nice piece, especial the moon and the cristals.

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