I have an irrational fondness for this one. It has an implied danger, a stress (those 2 white glove-hands pulling in different directions, and the black glove gripping at her). This piece is very tightly stretched over a frame, with all those buttons (and keys, and keyholes) attached with bright red thread. There are paper pattern pieces, too: is she being constructed, or pulled apart?
My friend and fellow-artist Rayna Gillman called these my 'dead baby series' . She has a point.
Generational Fossil (46"h x 30"w) 2009
I continued making Fossil Garments, but now used adult clothing. In this nod to American Gothic, the man and woman are portrayed by their clothing and tools. The woman is an apron/clothespin bag, the man is work gloves and tool belt...and an instruction manual for his head. He holds the keys, the name plates, she has the kitchen tools, and the change purse - the petty cash, not the money.
When I was a child, I made clothespin dolls, so I still have some thought of them as representing people. She holds these clothespin-people in her mind, and in her body.
A few quick words on technique: the bottom layer of clothespins here are printed on cloth, cut and sewn on to the darker background cloth. Other clothespins have been cut in half and sewn over the printed ones, and the clothespin bag was sewn over it all. In the first Generational Fossil picture, you can see several pieces of leather. I soaked the leather, then used clamps to press the wet leather tightly over coins and tools, giving me the impressions in the leather.
Overgrown Fossil (68"h x 49"w)
This is the one that was on the cover of Fiber Arts Magazine in 2010. She started as a nightgown found in a garage sale in Nutley. When I started deconstructing her, I found that the sleeves had been patched several times...and as I took it apart, the patching opened up to resemble wings. Her nightgown figure is overlapping a man's sweater in a way that makes the neck opening suggest her head. So - is she flying out of the green crocheted-and-felted jungle, or is she sinking in?
At her very heart is an image of the original nightgown, with all the patched parts spread open.