Mermaid: Day 12

The first result of my 100 Day Challenge is that I used the extra time to make a sprint towards the deadline for the Mermaid March here in San Marcos.  Here is the proposal I hand submitted to the San Marcos Arts Council Yesterday.

Quilted by Nature Mermaid Sculpture Proposal


Artist Statement:

Gwendolyn Hustvedt is a textile artist who has taught textiles at Texas State University for 11 years. Her work focuses on the natural environment with her specific inspiration being the San Marcos River. Her use of fibers, dye and computer aided design to produce both surface designs and wearable art combines the best of science and technology with ancient handicraft techniques. Prior to studying for her doctorate in textiles at Kansas State University, Gwendolyn apprenticed with a Master Tailor and worked with clients on tailoring custom solutions for their apparel needs. Her exhibited projects include hand-dyed Texas wool felted and knitted into surface design and apparel. She is also a silk painter and a series of mermaid paintings were featured in the artisan show at the first San Marcos Mermaid Festival last year. You can see her work and read about her creative process at

Design Statement:

Quilted by Nature is inspired by a love of the endless variety of fabrics used by quilters to create their designs. The fabrics used in this project were previously designed for a series on San Marcos and include patterns such as San Marcos Cityscape, Texas Wild Rice, Pennywort, Old Main and Bird of Feather. For this project, specific colorways in each pattern were selected to embody the fins (blue greens), flesh (diverse flesh tones) and hair (vivid hues) of the mermaid.  The patterns will be digitally printed onto cotton fabric and then an automated cutter will be used to cut the scale shapes from the fabric with zero waste. The design features three sizes of scales with the largest for the fins that comprise the mermaid from the waist down, a medium size scale for the flesh from the waste up and a small size scale for the hair, eyes and lips. The scales will be adhered to the sculpture using acrylic gel to soak the fabric and allow temporary slip for precise overlapping of the scales and the resulting sculpture will be weather durable following the application of the proposed coating. The sculpture will be embellished here in my InnovationStudio in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas State University.





List of Materials:

Golden Soft Gel Gloss – for collage projects, this is the medium recommend by Golden for greatest transparency.

Golden Heavy Gel – to aid in creation of textural features in the hair and fin edges.

Fabric cutting blades and mat for Silhouette Cameo cutter – blades are $8 apiece and for this amount of cutting I am going to estimate 4 blades. The cutting mat that holds the fabric for cutting is $17.

Fabrics – fabric printing on to cotton costs $10.50 per fat quarter (¼ yard). The fabric is cheaper by the yard but the appeal of the project is the diversity of design so I won’t want most of the patterns in greater quantities. Examples are included here. More will be available online at my website. A 84” sculpture means that each half of the sculpture is slightly more than a yard. I estimate that I will want 8 fat quarters of Blue Green colorways (2 yards) for the fins, 8 fat quarters of Diverse Skin colorways for (2 yards) and 6 fat quarters of Bright colorways for the hair (1.5 yards). Some of the Blue Green colorways are also bright enough that I can dedicate a portion of those fabrics to both the hair and the fins.

Birds of a Feather Pattern in a Bright colorway for the hair. Features feathers from local birds.






Cityscape Pattern in a Blue Green colorway for the fish. Features an aerial view of the San Marcos River.





Old Main Pattern in a Diverse Skin colorway for the flesh. Features a repeat of Old Main alone as in the historic views of campus.





Pennywort Pattern in a Blue Green colorway. Based on a silk painting created during a demonstration at the San Marcos Mermaid Festival.





Texas Wild Rice Pattern in a Blue Green colorway. Based on a silk painting created during a demonstration at the San Marcos Mermaid Festival.





Gaillardia Pattern in Diverse Skin colorway. This pattern is based on the flower that provides Texas State its school colors.







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