Wednesday, January 15, 2014

No I did not fall off the earth :)

But the Holidays and my dh retiring took up most of my time. I have just finished this piece for my challenge group Material Mavens. The challenge word this time was STRONG.

So this word was a bit of work in thinking it up. I went to shapes as a reference and found that the arch is one of the strongest shapes. Consequently, I chose this Double Arch Bridge which is not far from where I live. I like history and seem to find forgotten places that I take photos of, like this bridge. (my first choice was The Egg - but it seemed too "Easter")

Here's the history of the bridge:

The Double-arch Sandstone Bridge or more commonly known as the Sands Bridge, is a historic dry stone arch bridge over the Spicket River on Hampshire Road in Methuen, Massachusetts. Built without mortar between the stones, parts of it date back to 1735. It was used to handle traffic between Methuen and Salem NH.
The location: Along the old Dracut Path, was a marshy area of the Spicket River that could be forded by horse or cart. The ford eventually was bridged. The earliest town record, from the Town meeting of 1730, show a simple plank bridge was used which required regular maintenance at the cost of the township. The wooden bridge was replaced with the more durable stone arch bridge in 1835. Solid abutment supports were constructed on each river bank. A wooden frame shaped like the underside of the bridge, was constructed over the river. The stones where then set on the frame, without mortar. The bridge was filled in with rubble and dirt, which over time would compress against the abutments. The wooden frame was then removed. If constructed correctly a stone-arch bridge should last indefinitely, the Sands Bridge is not a well built bridge. Photographic evidence shows the keystone had slipped by the late nineteenth century. The bridge was used consistently until it was taken out of service in 1963 when the Spicket River was rerouted and Interstate 93 was built.
It was added to the National Register of Historic Places June 20, 1984.

I started with a sketch of the bridge and then went right on to the collecting and cutting of fabric.  I thought I would need to buy some, but decides to NOT get any more fabric - I can do this!

I stitched the stones, the dry leaves are tiny cut up fabrics with a netting sewn over them. I used some Inktense Pencils to do the artsy type of swamp look for the background. The edge was turned to the back in place of a binding.
Anyway, this was done in three days - with all the goings on and holidays, etc, I just think it slipped through the cracks. BUT it is done and I am very happy with it.

Check out more creative work at Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday!


  1. Did you hear me say earlier this week - gosh wonder what happen to Carol?! I totally understand how life can invade your creative time! This is such a strong piece - lovely - I love the use of value. And how fun to try a bunch of artsy techniques! Don't forget to share on OFTWFri!

  2. Fascinating story and fabulous piece!!!

  3. Hello Carol,

    The whole design is strong - bold colours and clean simple lines - I love it!

    Love from England,

  4. Hi, Carol. Cool piece and the history of the bridge is fascinating--so impressive, the old craftsmanship.
    best, nadia

  5. I really like this piece, Carol -- and I particularly like the fact there's a 'back story' to it. :-) The original stone construction reminds me of the stone-on-stone walls I saw in England on a visit in 1992 -- properly done, those stone walls rarely -- if ever -- need repair, and no cement is used. Thanks for bringing that historic bridge to light in textiles.

  6. I love your piece. And the history- thanks for including is with your post. Lovely.