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Life in aPerfect Rectangle

Contents copyright ©2009 Regina Benson. All rights reserved.
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Seeing at a distance

Observing our environment at a distance frequently gives me a sense of new discovery and new meaning. Through infrared telescopes and archeological discoveries, we also rediscover inherent patterns and designs. These works portray distant views through extensive surface embellishment, textile manipulations and encaustic processes on velvet, silk and cotton.

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Colorado Turquoise

33h x 42w

While hiking near an abandoned turquoise mine in Southern Colorado, I found a small rock with tiny veins of turquoise. On this small level, the rock’s design repeated the curving ancient river beds that I saw around me.

I constructed this mixed fiber piece on a base of discharged and overdyed rayon cloth; further collaged it with burned and cut leatherette; appliquéd with hand-dyed silk; free-motion embroidered and appliquéd; and hand-beaded and embellished with copper wire, brass beads and turquoise nuggets.

Day of Three Suns

41h x 53w

Strange new planets with elliptical orbits have been spotted by infrared telescopes. It’s hypothesized that one planet may actually have a simultaneous view of three suns during its unusual orbit.

I constructed this piece of five panels of hand-dyed and discharged cottons and silks; pieced and hand-appliquéd the motifs; and finished the construction with free-motion embroidery.

Life in a Perfect Rectangle

71h x 70w

My life is never fully known at any given point, there is always a boundary, imposed or self-imposed.  As I see and learn more, I expand, but always within yet another boundary.

This wall hanging is constructed of separately resist discharged rayon squares, pieced and free motion embroidered.   

Life In a Prefect Rectangle

Distant Neighbors

31h x 36w

The Cassini project has documented new Saturn rings and moons that join our planetary family tree. The rings surprised scientist with undulating gas streams and rotating ice storms.

This is a whole cloth black velvet discharge piece with inset reverse-appliquéd motifs made with my formulated resist paste.  After extensive hand-beading, I finished with a heavily bare-needle stitched edge using rayon and cotton threads.

Eastern Sunset

36h x 35w

The harvest moon is seen through an Asian screen.

I made this piece by creating a large whole-cloth discharge pattern on black cotton sateen using my specially formulated resist paste. I then over-dyed this pattern with companion silk yardage which I used to hand-appliqué the gradation grids. Hand-dyed cotton thread was used to free-motion stitch individual design motifs as they undulate through the appliquéd silk.

Io Rising

29h x 23w

Io, one of the newly discovered moons of Saturn, peeks over a dense celestial field at its host planet.

I created this piece by experimenting with an unusual mixture of natural flours as resist medium, discharged the resulting markings and stitched it onto a specially sewn base with subtle sashiko embroidery. Hand-beaded and embroidered motifs are scattered throughout, adding visual and physical texture.


33h x 27w

Prehistoric figures celebrate the autumn equinox and harvest.

I created this work by piecing together specially discharged velvets, dyed silk, and dyed and embroidered cotton canvas.  The figures are echoes of the discharged patterns made of boiled wool and appliquéd with embroidery floss. The edge of this work has been heavily bare-needle stitched using cotton and rayon threads.

Ancient Message

52h x 18w

Re-interpretations of newly discovered Sanskrit texts are leading to revised tellings of ancient migrations. This silk panel was marked with soy wax resisted rust from iron wires and discarded nails and washers; the edges have been burned to seal the piece and end the message.


122h x 18w

In late evening, the long horizon from the Colorado foothills to mountain peaks dissolves in a misty poem. This black rayon panel has been discharged over snow using soy wax resist, painted and burned.


52h x 18w

Shifting sands form ever-changing undulating patterns that glimmer in the moonlight. Black cotton velveteen has been discharged over snow, using soy wax and stencil resist; lined and stitched.


44h x 52w x 5

Nighttime flight over a live volcano reveals the powerful shape-shifting of the Hawaiian goddess of fire. This black rayon cloth has been discharge on snow with soy wax resist, and seared.

Solar Storm

40h x 38w x 4d

This curved diptych reflects on the celestial power and drama of an eclipsed solar event. This construction is made with stitched and seared rayon fabric that has been discharged on snow using soy wax resist.

Night Gold

41h x 27w x 3d

Everything on the near-night sea seems to glow like dark gold, shimmering on the sea and beach. This vertical panorama was constructed with soy wax resisted discharged rayon fabric, stitched and seared.

Whale Song

29h x 36w x 6.5d

A shallow evening dive brings an unexpected distant view of singing whales. Constructed of soy wax resisted and discharged rayon cloth, this piece has been stitched and seared.