Friday, 23 November 2007

Coping with ophidophobia

Ophidophobia is the fear of snakes and I caught it from my mother. Until recently I couldn't even look ata picture of a snake without shuddering and I doubt if I'll ever get to the stage where I could actually handle one. However I will acknowledge that there are snakes which - providing I don't have to get to close to them - seem to have a certain charm, and I did actually bring myself to stroke a California King Snake (juvenile) briefly a while back while she was being held by someone alse and it wasn't an unpleasant experience - in fact she felt quite soft and silky. It's surprising then that I'm so fascinated by their patternings and the shapes they make, and that I use them in my work as symbols. Contradictory eh? But as Walt Whitman put it: "Do I contradict myself? Very well I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes"

So far I've made one small snake quilt, which was used for a piece about dislikes in Myrna Giesbrecht's Self Expressions class (highly recommended) at Quilt University, and have an unfinished one (will be finished this year) using the idea of snakes and ladders symbolising - lightheartedly - some stages in the creative process.

I found myself recently playing with curvy lines as part of a Fast Friday challenge on movement and some of these turned into some lighthearted snakes, using - quite unusually for me - some printed fabrics I'd bought because I liked them (as you do) and couldn't think what to do with them:

This one's multicoloured cotton fused to a hand-dyed fabric background, with the outline couched in multi-coloured hand-spun (by me, with a hand spindle) yarn, then quilted in plain and multi-coloured thread to suggest more movement. The second one uses a hologrpahic curvy-line print with aa African print background, fused and couched with hand-dyed rayon/glitter chainette, and free-motion quilted. One thing I'm really proud of: perfect binding properly filled (I finally learnt to do this after reading advice on the Quiltart list for which many thanks).

For anybody not already participating in Pay It Foward, please read the previous blog and sign up - I only have one taker so far. I promise you a really nice gift! (No snakes unless you really like them!)

1 comment:

zquilts said...

AHHHHH ! I have the snake phobia too and can't imagine ever touching one! I was doodling around with come clay the other day and lo and behold I had made a snake- complete with scales and eyes!
I'd joint your play it forward if I could - but don;t want to have to post it again !!