It will be titled "Mae/Caught". I didn't want the piece to be a sentimental ode to late Victorian times. Mae doesn't look happy in any of the photos. She is tightly corseted and confined in her white lawn dress; her new engagement ring is visible on her finger. Her mother (also corseted, in white lawn with a remarkable hat) dominates one photo. Her husband doesn't look any happier.
After studying the images, the "caught" concept kept coming back. So many strictures, so many rules, no easy way out for a cultured young lady. So I'm working with used textiles to tell the story as I see it. I only knew Mae for a week or so, have no way to verify any of my hypotheses. She will have to be a symbol.
But at least she's not forgotten.
I was given an old quilt, hand-pieced and quilted, very worn and faded. The donor agreed that I could use it any way I wanted, as she had many others her mother had made. I dyed the quilt with indigo and have used it as the substrate for this piece. It is frayed, soft and fragile, reminding me of Mae as I met her in her old age.
There is a tradition in Japan (I've forgotten the name) of mending broken vessels with gold to honor the age and use of the pots and kettles. I'm thinking of gilding the frayed and torn areas of the quilt accordingly (real gold wouldn't work on textiles). Lots of handwork yet to do; I think it will be good.