Sunday, August 26, 2012

Desert Tortoises in Route 66 Mojave National Preserve

Today's post addresses the very important matter of  how to incorporate tortoises in an art quilt!

tortoise models

photo shoot
There is more than one way to include tortoises in your work, but I will tell you how I do it. The first thing you need to do is hire a couple of tortoise models. I did extensive interviewing and finally decided to hire these two. I chose them because I found their poses to be very naturalistic, they had extensive experience as tortoises, and their wages were cheap - broccoli and romaine lettuce.

tortoise depiction

photo shoot

tortoise depiction
Then comes the photo shoot. They did not respond well to a giant fan blowing at them, so I turned that off and just let them do their own thing. Before long they forgot I was there and I was able to capture some natural looking poses.

Above you can see the photo and to the left you can see the fabric depiction of this pose. I traced the turtle in the photo, enlarged it to my desired size, then traced and cut out freezer paper "patterns" of the various tortoise parts. These were then placed on the selected fabric and cut out. 

Here is the second pose. Notice the raised left foreleg, capturing actual movement of a tortoise!

And here is the depiction of pose number 2 in the art quilt.

Note - No tortoises were injured in the making of this art quilt.

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