Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Manufactured River: Kickstarter Update

This is a stitched sample developed from this preparation.

Today I learned that the Environmental and Water Resources Institute  has sent a lovely write up about my Kickstarter project to it's members! You can read the article here.

I have been visiting my local waste water treatment plant, sketching and visiting the Chicago Cultural Center to see their glass mosaics for inspiration about how best to interpret the dynamic beauty of the aeration tanks.   The name of the project, Manufactured River is never more vivid than when looking at the 1,680 feet of tank space water flows through. My project partner, retired executive director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, Dick Lanyon recently gave me a brilliant explanation:

The aeration tanks are grouped in fours and it is like a swimmer doing laps. Each of the four batteries has 8 long and narrow rectangular aeration tanks and 24 round final clarifiers. Each tank has four passes. That is, the flow enters one pass, goes 420 feet all the way to the end, makes a 180 degree turn, flows back in the opposite direction in the adjoining pass; then the flow does another 180, enters the third pass and flows in the same direction as the first pass all the way to the end, makes another 180, enters the fourth pass and flows to the end in the same direction as the second pass. The total distance that the water travels is 1,680 feet.

The magnificent mosaics in the Chicago Cultural Center are my jumping off point for expressing the dynamic process that occurs in the aeration tanks. The tiny glass pieces make the room sparkle even in a very dim light. Here are a few sketchbook ideas I am working with and a few embroidered samples that I'll be translating into larger pieces.
This is a sample of fly stitches using wool, silk, rayon and cotton threads on linen.

Wool and metallic french knots....don't ask how many

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