Saturday, April 20, 2013

Transects In Time

This art quilt was previously referred to as "Lithologic Landscape" and has now been renamed "Transects In Time". I am glad to report that it is finished and delivered to it's new owner. It will hang in the Regional Water Quality Control Board office in San Luis Obispo.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board is charged with protecting the waters of the State of California and this art quilt shows the breadth of their responsibility. It depicts common human activities, some of which have the potential to impact the subsurface soils or groundwater, or surface waters such as lakes.  Surface activities include commercial businesses (diners, dry cleaners, shoe store, sporting goods, bakery, gas station, etc.), recreational lake usage, oil storage, farming, and residential use. A cross-section of the subsurface is also shown. In this depiction, one of the oil storage tanks has a leak that has impacted the subsurface.  A groundwater well has been installed to monitor this leak. One commercial business, a dry cleaner, also has a release to the subsurface.

Different fabrics have been assigned to represent various soil types including sand, silty-sand, silt, clay and bedrock. The leaks are made with beading on the fabrics. The oil leak uses yellow-orange beads and the dry cleaner leak uses red-orange beads. The shape of the beading is intended to be similar to how the chemicals would travel through the subsurface.

oil spill leak and well

dry cleaner leak

A variety of fibers are used to represent different subsurface lithologic layers, including velvets, cottons and metallic/poly blends. Surface features are made primarily with cotton fabric, with tulle overlay in some areas. Embroidery and beading are used through-out to add details.  The landscape has been mounted on black quilted fabric. The overall size is approximately 28" x 48". It was a fun challenge and its very satisfying to have it done.

Thanks for visiting my blog!


  1. Eileen, It was an honor to be able to see this work in progress. It's completion is a stunning representation of how our everyday life can impact the earth in ways that we cannot see. Your choice of fabrics and embellishments is perfect. Thank you for sharing. Lucky is the person who received this art.