One of the first posts on this blog was my series, This Too Shall Pass. In that series, I embedded objects under cloth, 'fossilizing' them. Each showed some aspect of communication technology - the history of how we communicate. But many means of disseminating information couldn't be fossilized, because there wasn't enough physical shape. I was still itching to find a way to tell more of the story, to hold the history in a tangible way.
While I was stitching the baby quilt, I realized that this printed-and-painted technique could be ...close to the answer. Printing with a thermofax screen didn't give quite enough detail. I told my husband 'You know that bigger printer you keep thinking I should have? Well, you're right. Why don't you get me one for Christmas?' (Christmas 2016) and he did. Now I could print on cloth up to 13" across! I figured I could take 13" x 13" line images, do the same painted dye-and-embroidery technique I used on the baby quilt, then present them -somehow - as tablets. The tablets would be physical objects, like the tiles in This Too Shall Pass, but larger. So I started planning images to print that size.
I researched stained glass, which was known in the Middle Ages as the poor man's bible. Illiterate people learned their religion from window illustrations: the tablet had to explain that. I gathered online images of stained glass that depicted familiar stories, like Adam and Eve:
These are some of the many images I collected. Then I used Photoshop to turn my favorite images from color photos to black and white line drawings. Each line image had to be adjusted, mixed with elements from other images (the original devil figure was too big, and had to be replaced with a smaller one from another window), and condensed (Adam and Eve had to be closer together).
Then each line image had to be combined into a working composition with the other images, like in this early stage:
Here's Moses, going from stained glass to a line drawing, then getting turned around. As the images came together, I started working on the lettering, which you'll see on the next post.