Susan Shie, new art quilts
“American Pie: 6 of Potholders (coins) in the Kitchen Tarot.”
©Susan Shie 2013. 60″h x 90″w.
When I drew the tarot card, the 6 of Coins, from my Sakki-Sakki tarot deck, to see what card I’d be working on next, I wasn’t thinking about the Inauguration. It was January 10, and the holidays were just overwith. I knew I wanted to make a really large piece again, at least as big as Dragon Sushi, the piece I’d made last Summer, about my trip to teach and have a solo show in Girona, Spain. Since then I’d made smaller pieces, restricted in size by maximum size rules for shows I wanted to make works for. And after 3 pieces made “too small” to suit me, I rebelled now and was sure this would be a big, wide stitched painting.
The 6 of Coins, or Potholders in my Kitchen Tarot deck, stands for a situation where someone of power and wealth has great empathy for those in need, and is involved in great charity. They know how to fairly balance the scales of richness and poverty, trying to give equality to those less fortunate. Once I decided that this card could be the Inauguration, I saw the card as a symbol of Liberalism, and after hearing his speech that day, I knew the card was perfect for the event. What a speech! But I am getting ahead of my process story here.
By January 18, I had settled on President Obama and his upcoming second inauguration, to be the subject of this card quilt, and I was busily sketching away and researching the history of US Inaugurations, etc. And early that morning, as I was waking up, I had the name “American Pie” pop into my head, and I knew it would be the title of this work.
My early sketches for this piece show President and Mrs Obama holding a big pie between them, with the Capitol Dome beside them. Pies in my work are symbols of blessings and gifts, and I see Obama’s reelection as the best thing for our country, so I wanted to show that big pie of goodness.