Eucalyptus pods and leaves fractured by cutting into bits, chunks, and squares. In this case, reassembled and overlaid with circles to become nearly whole again if only in memory. A Zen meditation and tribute to the giant, regal, scented Eucalyptus tree with its colors of taupe, celadon and plum.
I’m a native California, and, to me, the scent and multi-colors of the ubiquitous Eucalyptus trees are endlessly fascinating and beautiful. Early in my career as an artist I created a large watercolor painting of just the trunk of a 100 year-old Eucalyptus, and framed it in real Eucalyptus pods, because I wanted to retain the scent along with the image.
I started this quilt with no vision of the completed piece. It started with a single rectangle of hand-made felt (wet-felted by me), cut into squares, and hand stitched individually. The meditative process of stitching is so enjoyable; I don’t need to know or think about the end result. I made more pieces of felt, cut them into oddly shaped squares and stitched away. Eventually, I arranged all the little squares onto a larger piece (of hand-dyed batting) and hand stitched them together and back it with a large piece of 100% wool felt.
The title and meaning of the piece Zen Eucalyptus came to me while stitching the individual squares together. Zen circles became a consistent design element in the squares of felt, the colors are reminiscent of the Eucalyptus trees than line the streets in a nearby neighborhood and, part of this quilt is made from pieces of quilt I created in 2005, with images of Eucalyptus leaves and pods.
Click on the image above to view the detail larger.