Hawthorne Bridge Study

I spent a lovely afternoon at Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the Willamette River. Part of the time I was walking, some reading, and the rest I spent photographing the Hawthorne Bridge.

before parkBut first, this photo from the park plaque shows the expressway that was removed to create the park. It is good to know that sometimes nature and aesthetics triumph. The park is part of a greenway along the river.

The Hawthorne Bridge is near one end of the park, and my interest was spurred by a project to make a quilt based on one of Portland’s bridges. The project involves using a half yard of Violet Craft’s fabric line whose design was inspired by Waterfront Park–some pieces are shown on the project blog entry. The project originators want quilts to be somewhat equally distributed among the 7 or so bridges, so we each signed up for a bridge, and I selected the Hawthorne Bridge–partly because at the time the list was in my hands, Hawthorne Bridge had only two others signed up and partly because it is one I really like.

The project designers want us to look under/over/and beyond the bridge. So I stood under the entry road on the east side of the river for the first shot and kept walking for more views down under.
From under the entry to the bridgeIf I were doing something realistic, I’d work on capturing that skyline with the bridge blended into it.
Under the bridgeSometime, I foresee a quilt made from this view under the bridge itself–it fits my current minimalist instincts. However, I’m debating whether there needs to be something more recognizable for the present project. Also the fabric line lends itself to something less stark.

lift mechanismDistinctive features of this bridge are the four arches on the eastern approach, this center moveable portion, and one more arch to link to the western side. There are other bridges with multiple arches, and the Steel Bridge has what looks to me a similar lift, so it is the combination that is distinctive and the red color of the weights. It is good I have time to think on this one. I don’t immediately see how I can combine that view of the bridge with the fabrics or with modern design. And they have asked for a modern quilt.

detail of tower bottombridge tower top

I love these details. There is a lot of room to apply what I learned in Rosalie Dace’s class at Sisters about lines in design. I may just have to do a series.

No rush, though. Due date is sometime in the spring of 2014.

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4 Comments

Filed under design, photography, quilting

4 responses to “Hawthorne Bridge Study

  1. Cher

    terrific photos Claire! yes, the fabric required really takes away from many design ideas I too would like to explore. I think you have a lot to inspire and work with-and how lucky your recent class will aid you in coming up with your vision.

  2. I love bridges in general. Mostly I’m just amazed what people can create.

  3. I love your photographs of the bridge! I am looking forward to seeing what your final piece turns out to be!

  4. Interesting bridge with many (too many??) possibilities. It’s very much of an era, isn’t it – reminds me of the Patullo bridge in New Westminster, BC, and the smaller bridges in the Lower Mainland that have now been superseded as traffic got so much heavier. They speak of a simpler age, with fewer cars, less pressure of urban living…

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