Classes · Quilt Shows

Fabric Collage at Road

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527-1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books.  He painted representations of these objects on the canvas, arranging them in such a way that collection of objects formed a recognizable likeness of the portrait subject. (found online)

Azulejos at Road
Above, the main hallway, with quilts from our Inland Empire Modern Quilt guild.

I had my own turn at playing Arcimboldo this past Monday at Road to California, in a collage class taught by Laura Heine.


We arrived at the hotel ballroom, purchased our kits, and started fusing fabric to Steam a Seam 2. But of course, only one iron worked.  Soon, Laura had rustled up irons from ballrooms that were vacant, so we were in business.


Then we started cutting and cutting and cutting.  After lunch she showed us how to start laying out our cut pieces using the pattern shape to help keep us organized.  It was a challenge.  It made me think of Arcimboldo, but I also remembered when I was a teenager in Lima, Peru and the only way we could decorate our walls (big posters hadn’t really been invented yet, for teenagers’ rooms) was to lay out cut out pieces from fashion magazines onto a piece of newspaper, and carefully cover the newsprint to create some sort of art, one piece at a time.  My sister, Christine, excelled at this, but soon all four of us were creating collages, guided by her teaching.

Tokyo Face Collage

Here are two more collages that my husband and I glimpsed in a store window in the Ginza area of Tokyo a couple of years ago.

Tokyo Face Collage2Tokyo Face Collage 2_side

Here it is, from the side.


Slowly, the bears around the classroom started to take shape.


This is Arcimboldo’s portrait titled “Flora,” a lovely lady made all of flowers…just like I was trying to do with my bear in a classroom at Road to California.

Arcimboldo Winter

His Four Seasons are some of his more well-known works; above is Winter.  I kept thinking of the version I’d seen in more recent memory: a giant sculpture in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  Arcimboldo in 3D, rendered by Philip Hass in pigmented and painted fiberglass.

This is probably 20 feet tall.

Heine_Class California Bear

And here is my bear.  Arcimboldo would be proud of me.  However, I still have the backgrounds to do.


Here’s the class sample.  It is evident I have a lot of work to do yet, but Heine’s artful versions of fabric collage are much more inticing that stacks of vegetables, or retail items.  It was a good but busy day; Heine was a lovely teacher who encourages her students onward.  

Monday marked the official opening of Road to California 2020.  I have two Jen Kingwell classes (Wednesday and Thursday) and Thursday is the day that the show opens, and I’ll be able to finally glimpse my three quilts hanging in the show this year!  Then Friday is the night I get to hear Jenny Doan in an evening lecture.  Lisa and three friends are coming in from Utah, Afton is arriving tomorrow from New Mexico, and I’ll get to meet up with lots of new and returning friends from around the area.

I love Road week!

18 thoughts on “Fabric Collage at Road

  1. Am not sure which I enjoyed more: your art lesson or the bear! Both: grand 🙂 I always love your trip to Road because it’s such a special quilt event, better in many ways than QuiltCon. Thanks as always for sharing your insights and pics!

  2. I’m going to Road in Saturday with friends from my guild. We plan to pack a potluck picnic lunch (I’m on dessert duty). I so look forward to the show every year and hope to take a class someday. I’ll keep an eye out for your quilts!

  3. Thanks for sharing an insight into that class – love the bear! It’s so exciting to see your quilt in the atrium! I already have the location of your quilts marked on my map! Hope to see you there 🙂

  4. So sad to miss this! I must plan better next year. Your bear looks very 60’s to me and is marvy, hip and cool all at the same time. 🙂 Growing up I absolutely loved making collages – back when there were art classes in school. Enjoy your weekend!

  5. I’ve always liked Laura’s style. Did you have to bring any fabric or was it all in the kit? Great comparison to art of Arcimboldo too. Have fun in your classes and the show.

  6. Golly. This is interesting. A floral bear is something I don’t see often, but then I don’t see faces made of umbrella, shoes, hats, fans or toilet paper either! Really unique! Art is in the eye of the beholder. Your bear is gonna be wonderful. I love how the paisley fabric creates an eye. You’re a busy lady, and I hope you have lots more fun.

  7. I love the bear!! And thank you so much for helping my daughter 🙂 Can’t wait to come to the show and see all of the beautiful pieces of art!

  8. I love your bear! I can’t see how it is any different or less artistic than Laura’s? I slightly jealous of your next two days too- Jen and Jenny and friends from all round! I look forward to hearing more about it all, including your quilts! 😘

  9. Looks like it was a fun class. The Leslie/Jane/Esther group will be going to Road Thursday. We want to see your quilts more than anything else.

  10. We saw a finished bear in the show from one of her previous classes. Just gorgeous. This is a fascinating technique.

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