Mola Monkey in the Middle by Diane Herrmann

Third Place, Professional Adaptation

This piece is my interpretation of a Panamanian mola design using the techniques of canvas embroidery. Women create a mola design by using reverse applique, applique, and inserted applique, and include symbols and figures that are significant in their culture. By doing canvas applique in this design I honor the original technique and make it applicable to canvas work. I wanted the feather sections of the birds to stand out so chose them for applique. I used small motif canvas stitches to fill in the “slits” and used some woven stitches to fill triangles and create feathers. The cool palette represents that of traditional Panamanian molas, which includes red, black and orange. The basic color scheme, of light blue and red-orange is close to complementary. I have included other accent colors that are the same as those used in other Central American textiles.