Block Talk - Kathleen's "Fire"

Just a recap of the design elements I look for when I do a block talk
  1. Contrast -  light/dark, rough/smooth, shiny /dull, soft/hard, quiet/bold etc. 

2. Echoing - repetitions and variations

3. Movement including directional elements and rhythm. 

4 Focal point and/or theme.. not all blocks have either a focal point or theme..

And my definition of a harmonious block is when all parts complement  each other and the whole. 

There's a lot of elements to look for in this piece by Kathleen Klein with the theme of "Fire" And indeed the two hottest spots on the entire block are the yellow/orange in her hair and in the flame.  There is no doubt as to the theme here with fire,flames, embers, sparks etc.

The next thing to notice before I go any further is the nice quiet area in the center that showcases the phoenix.  You may remember this same technique used by Lauri ... nothing is better to highlight a focal point than to surround it with a quiet area.

Next the colors choice.. Liza's block (previous blog post) went from the hottest colors on the color wheel to the left with the coolest color being the green. 

Kathleen's colors also start with the hottest colors on the color wheel but go right instead to include the cool purples.  Again all her colors are touching on the color wheel.. Some people are lucky and just have an innate sense of color but for those of us who don't the color wheel can be a useful tool.  There are unlimited books and articles on color theory and it can be confusing... but just remembering touching colors and complementary colors are be one of the most useful tools....

Now to the design elements  1. Contrast -  light/dark, rough/smooth, shiny /dull, soft/hard, quiet/bold etc. 
 There is the lovely texture of the roving in both the hair and in the bonfire.

There is the silky and pleated texture of the shibori ribbon in the dress and in the bonfire. You have to look closely to see how expertly Kathleen fused the ribbon, roving and beads in the bonfire.

The beaded leaves are 3-dimension...woven off block and attached.  Across the bottom is a highly textured patch with embers of glass beads.  A beautiful contrast between hard/soft.

Then there are the bullions which are also 3 dimensional and add even another texture.  This entire block is a symphony of textures.

2. Echoing ( repetitions and variations) and 3. Movement  (directional elements and rhythm)

It is the echoing that provide the movement in this block... First the start shapes that move right around the block...

and the all the graceful curves in the flowers, hair, dress, and fire keep your eye rising.
And one final point... the importance of the icy lavender accent in the block..  It pops and makes all the colors pop.  Below you can see the difference without it.  Those little accents spots of colors add excitement to the block.
And I hope you have enjoyed my block talk on Kathleen's wonderful block and that it has helped you to look closer and see things in a different way.   Personally I love working with a theme on a block and will soon share a couple of my favorite "out of the box" theme projects before I quit block talking for a while...



traderslostart said...

Kathleen Klein's fire block is superb.
Thank you for calling attention to the elements that make it so marvelous.
I knew I loved her block the moment I saw it. I am not a lover of orange
or yellow, so loving a block that uses so much orange was new for me.
I do believe her using the lavender is what turned the tide for me.
The contrast is what makes it so inviting to the eyes and senses.
Thank you for your intuitiveness.
Love block talk Gerry . . .

kathleen said...

thank you for the wonderful comments, I am not a lover of oranges but I knew "Fire" had to be orange. The hand dyed fabric of oranges and purples in my stash worked well for this block. Gerry, thank you again.

margaret said...

a beautiful block and your comments really help to see things so clearly

Annette said...

Oh I love this block talk you are doing. Kathleen's blocks are always so wonderful and so out of the box. I know she loved you talking about it. Thank you Gerry for taking the time to do this. Love ya

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