It’s been a long time since I wrote the last blog. So there’s a lot to share. I am delighted the work is out there again for people to go and see it at LaGuardia ‘s Atrium Lobby Showcase Gallery East. There are three gorgeous glass cases in the lobby of the building and I have 8 flags in each of two cases and 4 in the center, including the new Mexican, Mali and Zaire American E Pluribus flags.The show will be up until January 30.
Meanwhile the project is always in progress. Right now my Mum has almost completed embroidering the English American flag it is amazing with rows of Tudor roses and heraldic crowns. We are both happy to see this flag come together because we are English and until this design came together we were feeling a bit left out.
There are so many different cultural facets to this country that we could be making these flags forever. Currently in progress are the Uzbekistan, the Madagascar, the Dutch, the Canadian two Italian and the French American flags. The way it works is that I ponder the recognizable imagery, or gifts of the various cultural demographics until I can come up with a really strong visual that applies comfortably to the US Flag design. The materials are very diverse and fun and allow me to explore all kinds of creative traditions from various points of view. For example, I just found a lovely Suzani cloth in Rome that I will use for the Uzbekistan flag’s star field. For the stripes I have some fabulous hand woven silk ikat that I bought online.
When I was in Amsterdam earlier this year I bought 100 wooden red tulips and a bunch of miniature clogs for the Dutch flag. I am still trying to figure out how to cobble it together. And believe me ‘cobble’ is a very good word for this here. The Madagascar flag is a very fun project. I am crocheting out of raffia a dimensional flag in the style of a great basket bag that I bought at Blue Bag at 266 Elizabeth Street in NYC. I’m always sending people there because everyone comments on the bag.
All of my friends are saving wine corks for me because, for the French flag I plan to stitch together about 1200 corks so that the red or white tips of the corks will express the stripes of the flag. The star field will be made from champagne corks with wire stars fashioned out of the champagne cork cages. They are looking really cool. Last year I collected dried and stored two boxes of bright red maple leaves for the Canadian American flag. I can’t believe I still haven’t had time to put that one together, I have all the parts. The field will be birch bark that I found in my local woods. The stripes out of the red maple leaves and the stars will be pine cones. My image of Canada is of rich and glorious wild forests. I have Venetian papers for one Italian flag and a design ready for construction of a marble tiled Italian flag.
So you can see there is plenty to do. Often I do get sidetracked like with the Mali flag which came together very quickly. I found the fabric after stumbling into a favorite shop on Greenwich Avenue and then I went to my local weekly flea market hoping that the African bead vendor would have some Mali wedding beads. How lucky I am, he was there for only the second time this year and he had only two Mali wedding bead necklaces so I bought them. One went into the flag, the other I’ve been wearing.
Well, I said there was a lot to share. I hope you can get to see the flags in person. If not please enjoy them at the online gallery of www.epluribus.us