Tag Archives: sacred heart

Sacred Heart with titanium druzy.

I have had almost no time for embroidery this month.

I drew at so many events, we had an art show where I did live painting, I made the Trans Dino-Witch, I finished a big new portrait. It’s been glorious and exhilarating. Yet I really wanted to get some thread and bead time in, for the energy and comfort it gives me.

And I wanted to work with Sacred Hearts, the symbol of hope and faith.

I learn so much from beloved artist Monique Motil, aka @z0mbique, about how working with mystic powerful symbols gives you creative juice. So I used bricolage and upcycle principles to make these collage embroidered Sacred Hearts or Ex Votos.

Sacred Heart collage embroideries WIP by Suzanne Forbes Aug 2017The hearts in the center are beaded patches I bought on eBay for a couple of euros.

I sewed them to some of the last scraps of an iridescent blue-violet panne violet I bought two yards of in 1999 and have used for innumerable projects. I made the orange and blue flames out of the last pieces of some vintage velvet flowers bought at Lacis in Berkeley, also in ’99.

Then I embroidered around them with my favorite Rico Metallic thread, the Holy Grail of metallic embroidery thread.

sacred heart collage embroidery by Suzanne Forbes Aug 30 2017I sewed on iridescent and AB Swarovski bicone crystal beads and added hundreds of Swarovski crystals in many, many colors. I attached some of my new blue oil slick iridescence titanium druzy crystal beads with invisible thread. I painted the frame by rubbing it with deep madder paint, then gold paint, then tapping silver leaf onto the still tacky gold paint.

The shiny red string was saved from a gift I received – I save all my gift ribbons and bows for projects.

Like the embroidery collage jacket I did last month, this kind of collage/bricolage embroidery is a low-impact, flexible project anyone could do. I love how in the top picture the fiery heart coordinates with my sketchbook-carrying sack, a 50th-birthday gift from Daria! I plan to sew a LOT in September, along with the million new events and teaching, so I’ll finish the blue flame lightning heart soon.

Sacred Heart: Only Love.

I started working on this project after the tragedy of the US election.Sacred Heart mixed media milagros by Suzanne Forbes 2016

This piece is about how our love and passion and true, yearning hearts are indelible, unsurrendered.

I had no idea when I started it how it would be transformed by fire. I was already so desperately, wildly grateful to be here, to have escaped the unbearable precarity and pressure of Bay Area living.

“I feel like we were pulled from a burning building”, I wrote in my journal just two weeks before the Ghost Ship fire.Sacred Heart mixed media milagro by Suzanne Forbes 2016

There has been a terrible tragedy in the artist community in Oakland. We lived there for years, and it could have been any of us, or any of our friends, any time.

Sacred Heart mixed media milagro by Suzanne Forbes 2016The situation is devastating and unbearable. We could barely save ourselves from it; we needed every ounce of help our community could give to get to a far safer home in Germany. And yet all the strength, all the great love in my heart, is bound up with our loved ones there, and I yearn to see them safe too.

I made this heart and frame and framed two others while I was thinking about that fierce love we have for each other and our work.

It is a prayer that we can fight to keep doing what we must, despite the election results, despite everything. A prayer for our community to find the strength to keep going in the new USA.

The Oakland Ghost Ship Fire is a synecdoche. It is what it is, and it is everything about the life of artists in the United States.leonard cohen album cover

The older generation of artists and musicians is dying at a shocking, anguishing rate this year.

MIlagro_Heart_Embroidery_Suzanne_Forbes_2015We must save every single one we can of the new generations. All I can do is help you with bureaucracy if you move to Berlin- but I will help with that! Come to our house for a moving-to-Berlin workshop on New Year’s Day, if you’re in Germany for CCC.

People are creating fantastic tools to help people take action to become safer in DIY spaces. These tools are priceless.

Please remember, though, that the disabled, the disenfranchised, the traumatized, the depressed, the sick, are limited in how much they can use tools.

We do our very best, always; we’re exhausted, not lazy.

Those who are feeling stronger can help by setting up support teams and buddy sessions to facilitate making spaces safer.

It’s always easier to deal with someone else’s problems; make a commitment to help a friend go over their space for risk factors. Ask a friend to role-play negotiating with a scary landlord with you. Form a triad of mutual support and meet weekly with two friends to work on your safety action list.

Understand that those who are fighting daily to survive need help to do anything more than they’re already doing.

“People will always seek what spaces like Ghost Ship offer,” Aaron Muszalski, an artist who has spent the past two decades living and working in warehouses across the Bay Area. “What we need are solutions that don’t seek to eradicate these spaces, but which allow them to come safely into the light and support them economically in becoming safer and more accountable — something that is impossible so long as we pretend they don’t exist.”

-Aaron Muszalski interviewed in The New York Times.

The YouCaring fund for the survivors and families of the fire victims.

Ian Baker’s fire and emergency safety for warehomes post.

Gui Cavalcanti’s guide to fire safety in industrial spaces.

The response site SaferSpaces. Harm Reduction for DIY Venues google doc.

Gabe Meline on KQED, It Could Have Been Any One of Us.

About the human beings lost, and why they chose to be there at that moment.

I copied the idea of making a frame from a candy-box heart lined with velvet from my beloved friend-muse-Patron Monique Motil. She does it with far more richness, beauty and mystery than my little attempts; you can see her mandala-form meditations on love and death in heart-shaped boxes here. I find them deeply consoling and spiritual.