Here is my latest piece, “Le Poisson Bleu-Vert” (“The Blue-Green Fish”). I have not faced it yet, but I think it will be about 30" x 20" when finished. The fins, scales and letters are made from Lutradur®.
Lutradur® is a spun-bonded polyester. It takes paint and inks very well, and has the key advantage of not fraying. So when you cut it, you get nice clean edges. It is also somewhat transparent, which can be nice for adding depth.
If you want to try out Lutradur®, you can get a pack that contains some lightweight (70 grams) and some heavyweight (100 grams) from C&T Publishing.
I painted some sheets of it with ProChemical & Dye’s Profab transparent and pearlescent acrylic textile paints in shades of blue and green, and cut the scales out by hand, in arcs. Then I machine stitched them down, starting at the tail and working my way toward the front of the fish. The stitching on each row is hidden by the row that covers it.
I painted the fish’s body before I stitched the scales on. (Aside from the scales and words, this piece is one piece of white fabric – Robert Kaufman Pimatex PFD – that I’ve painted.) After the fish was mostly done, I thought the composition could use something else, and decided on type. I’ve always love the French word for fish, “poisson,” and decided it would be fun to describe the fish in French. I cut the letters from the Lutradur®, too, then simply stitched them down.
The free-motion stitching in the background was so much fun. I did it without marking, and stitched shapes suggesting coral at the bottom, and then filled in around it with a tight, small meander in shades of yellow, green and blue. Above, I stitched wavy lines filled with bubbles, suggestive of water currents.
I love how dimensional the scales are, but there are a few spots where they are standing up a bit too much. I’m going to try leaving it under some heavy books tonight to see if I can flatten it.