Tarot Art Quilts
24"w x 36" h
completed August 2001
Construction: Hand dyed and commercial cottons, satins, cordouroy, lame. Beads, netting, variegated texture yarns, Tintzl and Pigma pen and Prismacolor pencil drawing.
Artist Statement: My original design imagery for this card was based upon the traditional Rider Waite card, showing a figure with one foot in the water, one on the land. But I found that it didn't capture what I felt was really essential to the meaning of this card.
Yes, Temperance is of course about balance, and not living in extremes. But the more important meaning to me is the other definition of the word temper, to harden metal, making it even stronger than it was originally. This is the tempering that gives us the ability to balance ourselves and our lives.
So the image I chose to work with was of a woman balancing on a needle which is passing from the cauldron into the water, creating the steam surrounding her. All of the five elements are represented at the bottom of the piece, Earth, Air , Water, Fire, Spirit is the aura that surrounds the figure. We are born of Earth, pass through Fire to be tempered, cooled in Water, live in Air, Spirit infuses the rest of our lives ever after.
Commercial cotton fabric, cotton lame, photo transfer.
Artist Statement: To me the Nine of Swords is the nightmare card. This was a hard quilt to work on, and thankfully it went together very quickly. I asked my seven year old son, Zachary to pose for a picture so that I could use the image to draft my pattern. My directions to him were to curl up on yourself, hug your knees and think of all the worst stuff you possibly can.
When I looked at the picture I realized that I wanted to use the actual image, rather than try to interpret it in fabric. I think the image of him is so powerful because he was actually going through the Nine of Swords experience at that time; waking up in the middle of the night worrying about all the big stuff (like parents dying, fires, earthquakes, etc.) that we just can't control.
The Nine of Swords represents all the worst with still the ultimate worst yet to come. I chose it because I had always been scared and wary of this card, but I can really appreciate it more now, and how it is just part of the cycle of facing ones' fears, and trying to push through to the light of day.
Construction: Hand painted, hand dyed and commerical cotton fabrics, velvet satin, denim, flannel, and knits.
Artist Statement: The Page of Wands was a joyful quilt to work on for me. I was able to capture the creative energy of the wands and put it into the quilt.
The image I chose was of a young person (based upon my son Alexander), holding their wand to get a "spark" of creativity from the power of the sun. I think that creative inspiration can sometimes be of divine origin, so the symbol for this was the Sun.
The fire salamander by the Pages' foot is a symbol of being able to walk through fire and not get burned. That is a big part of the meaning of the card for me, that one can harness the fire of creation and come out of the experience changed but not destroyed. The salamander also serves as a reminder to the Page himself, who is filled with promise and excitement, but may not yet have his youthful energy under control.
The Page of Wands is definitely a "doer", not someone that sits around waiting for a creative zing, but an individual who goes out and finds one on their own.
These quilts were made as part of a collaborative group called the TAQP, Tarot Art Quilt Project. Our intention and goal is to publish a complete tarot deck and book, as well as to show the quilts as a group. When details are available regarding tour schedule or purchase of decks or books, I will post that information here.