Primary Tools & Materials:

Additional Tools & Materials: scissors, camera, Adobe Photoshop

This is one of my more abstract studies, fittingly inspired by the work of Marian Bantjes, who often works with botanicals in her lettering and illustration. This is one of my favorite house plants - I love it for its bright purple leaves with pale green stripes. What I didn't know is how juicy this plant is. As soon as I snipped off a few stems for this study, a milky ooze began to seep out, but I figured I could wipe it off and sew through these leaves with no problem. 

The only sewn component is the stem which doubles as the main diagonal stroke of the letter Z. Unfortunately, while the stitch I chose was wide enough to enclose the stem, the pressure of the presser foot caused the stem to collapse, then snap in two. That, combined with my only failed attempt at sewing onto the purple leaves, led me to leave this center stroke as the only machined component of this letter. I resisted the urge to remove evidence of the stem's mortal wound, because it seemed more authentic to leave it. 

This letter serves to demonstrate how difficult it can be to work with natural materials. Just because a similar material has behaved in one way doesn't mean its close cousin can be expected to follow suit.