Art & Poetry Quilt: Magma: Undercurrents

Hot off the tail of my space junk / comet / plague quilt Around the Curve, I created a study in red to enter into a show. A volcano in Hawai’i was erupting again. Magma heated my consciousness, and I wanted to capture its layers. I hand-dyed cotton batting for the red, then used acrylic ink to pigment the silk organza. This quilt, too, has a poem, layered under the organza, printed via letterpress, white ink on black cotton. From a distance, you can capture a few fragments easily around the binding, but must come close to find the full text just beneath the surface. Beyond that, the quilt is just stitched and slit, letting the hand-dyed batting out to the light.

Magma: Undercurrents
32.5"w x 39.25"h (82.5 cm x 99.5 cm)
Letterpress printed on cotton from hand-set type; hand-dyed cotton batting, pigmented silk organza; machine quilted


letterpress text in white on black cotton, read through the silk organza

Slashed silk organza with red batting showing through and fragment of letterpress printed edge

Deep beneath the ground on which we walk lies scorching liquid, roiling, red hot magma, unseen in daily life. Ever present, magma is both a tangible substance and a metaphor for the undercurrents of thought, speech, and the concealed weapon of hate. Children know its danger when they play with imagination, Hot Lava: watch where you go, don’t get swallowed up. There is power here.

Beneath thin skin

facade for fury

magma emotion

in place to pave over

concealed carry

when magma, from massein

refers to a salve


Wow! I was fortunate to see this quilt in person today. While the images are wonderful it is even more amazing to see the texture and the interplay of color. Such an impact, it made my day! Thank you Alisa