spaghetti full

24″ x 24″

This photoquilt was inspired by a box that my wife and I brought back from our honeymoon in Italy.  The box is about six inches wide and is made of strips of semi-precious stones which were likely leftover from the other pieces for sale in the shop.  When we asked what the pattern was called, we were told they call it “spaghetti.”  We both loved the “use the whole buffalo” approach to the creation of the box as well as the overall effect of the random mix of stones, so we splurged and bought the box.

Last year, we finally had the chance to travel back to Europe where I was struck by the unique and colorful doors throughout the oldest part of Montpellier, France.  I took pictures of hundreds of them for Les Portes de Montpellier.  When that photoquilt was finished, I still had scores of prints left over.  What to do?  Cut them into strips and sew them back together, obviously.

The similar palettes first gave me the idea that this could work.  The jewel tones in the doors of Montpellier are what first drew me to photograph them and the link to the colors in the box was obvious.  The European connection and the approach to making use of otherwise discarded materials also tied the two together.  There is also a sort of re-imagining of the image here.  Unlike most of my other quilts, the subjects of the photos are almost completely obliterated.  This results in a focus on the almost painterly  surface instead of the details of each individual photo.

The spaghetti box and the Spaghetti photoquilt are two of my favorite souvenirs of our rare European adventures.

Les Portes De Montpellier photoquilt
Les Portes de Montpellier photoquilt
spaghetti box
The spaghetti box that inspired this photoquilt
spaghetti detail 1
Spaghetti – detail #1
spaghetti detail 2
Spaghetti – detail #2
spaghetti detail 3
Spaghetti – detail #3

Les Portes De Montpellier

Les Portes De Montpellier photoquiltLes Portes De Montpellier (front)

Les Portes De Montpellier (back) photoquiltLes Portes De Montpellier – back

72″ x 48″
Not for sale

This photoquilt was inspired by a three-week trip to Montpellier, France. Like many North Americans, I marveled at the age and ornament of many everyday things. In particular, the carved wooden doors to the apartments in the old city were striking to me. Most were surrounded by limestone arches and each one was unique. Walking through the winding streets, all of the doors start to look the same, but by viewing them together, some of the subtle differences can be seen; the different colors of paint, the different shapes and proportions, the different textures in the walls.

This is my first photoquilt that has a front and a back. The front includes the nicest, cleanest, and most colorful examples of the doors I took. The back includes the grittier side of things: graffiti, stray wires and pipes, even some places where doors used to be. The difference is akin to the perfect side of the door we present to the public and the imperfect side that we keep to ourselves. And although we made some good friends in Montpellier, it wasn’t always as easy as we would have liked to open the door to new relationships.


Les Portes De Montpellier (front) photoquilt detailLes Portes De Montpellier (front) detail

Les Portes De Montpellier (back) photoquilt detailLes Portes De Montpellier (back) detail

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