Having recently read the book of Job in the Bible, I ran across the classic quilt pattern called Job’s Tears, a cute little four-point star often made in sparkling jewel tones. The incongruity of the pattern name—Job is crying because God has killed all his family and livestock, covered his body with boils and cast him out of his land, just to test his faith—with the pattern made me want to make my own version.
I had recently received a box of paint-spattered work clothing from the Chicago Lyric Opera set painting department, and realized this grubby stuff would better convey the atmosphere I sought. Along with some paint-spattered jeans from Pamela Belyea and Gary Faigin of Seattle, and some hand-dyed fabric for a lightning bolt from John Cardin, these work clothes and drop cloths gave me just the mood I was after.
In doing research about tears, I learned that tears of different origins have different chemical compositions and form different crystalline patterns when dried. So I programmed my quilting machine with an imagined crystalline pattern formed with broken bits of the classic four pointed star.
The quilt, signed by Joe in the quilt stitching, comes with a four-inch hanging sleeve, Certificate of Authenticity,and a custom cotton bag. Shipping and insurance are free to a domestic US address.
Joe Cunningham is an internationally known quilt artist, writer, teacher and lecturer. His quilts have been shown worldwide and are represented in the collections of major museums. He lives in San Francisco, working in his gallery/studio in the South of Market district.