Juried into HGA Convergence 2006 Grand Rapids "Celebrations" exhibit.
The leaves came easily: I cut them freeform, put batting between, and started appliquéing flame-like shapes to them. I knew each one had to be different, which was quite exciting. Some have a red background, others green. The leaves are approximately 28”, 36”, and 42” high, and they vary in width from 4” to 8”. Some of them have additional flames appliquéd on the back, or additional stitching. A glittery white mylar ribbon spirals out of the bush: the Voice of G-D.
After I had made the first few leaves, one morning after meditation, when I opened the Hebrew Bible at random, I opened to Exodus Chapter 3:
And Moses was herding the flock of Jethro his father-in-aw, priest of Midian, and he drove the flock into the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, to Horeb. And the Lord’s messenger appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of the bush, and he saw, and look, the bush was burning with fire and the bush was not consumed. And Moses thought, “Let me, pray, turn aside that I may see this great sight, why the bush does not burn up.” And the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, and God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Come no closer here. Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.”
Clearly, I was on the right path.
But how to make the leaves into a bush? I sewed a green silk “vein” on the back of each quilted leaf and threaded 12-gauge steel wire through the back for support. My beloved husband, Gary, constructed the base, covered and painted it, and drilled holes for the leaves. At last (well, it only took 2 1/2 weeks from concept to completion) the leaves and base were done and I constructed the bush out of the leaves, turning individual leaves this way and that to form a pleasing whole. Although I “completed” the Burning Bush, it is never completed—the leaves change shape and configuration every time the sculpture is moved. I love that: it makes the bush feel “alive.”