The Kitchen Tarot by Susan Shie

Amazon is currently taking preorders for The Kitchen Tarot, a deck of the 22 major cards of my Kitchen Tarot project, which I began working on in 1998. The deck will come with a small user booklet by author Dennis Fairchild. The publisher is Hay House. This deck will be available to buy on Amazon in mid-July, 2010.

I'm working slowly on the 56 Minor Arcana art quilts now, having gotten to my third one in a year. Don't look for the minor cards made from images of these large artworks or the FULL Kitchen Tarot deck anytime soon. Sorry!

This is a very longterm project, which I began in 1998. When I got the idea to buy a laminator, my friend Zaki suggested that I can make just one card design at a time, as each image gets finished. So for years I signed and numbered laminated color copied cards of these images, whose originals are art quilts. I woke up one day and realized I was putting way too much time into the cards, and I stopped making them.

So the cards below are shown for historical reference only. I no longer make or sell them.

All the laminated cards used to cost $5.50 each. All are 3" x 4 7/8" plus laminated edges. Hand signed, dated, and numbered. Not making them now, remember. YOU CANNOT ORDER THESE ANYMORE. Sorry.

So here are the old cards, based mostly on the quilts, except for the first card shown here, which I made a drawing for:

The Colander/The Fool ©Susan Shie 1998.

Order # K-0-a: "The Colander / The Fool." (the first laminated card I ever made. And this one is a drawing, not a quilt.)

I started with my version of #0 of the Major Arcana, which is usually "The Fool." I thought long and hard, and decided that since I was making a quilt for "Colander Girls," a private challenge on the QSDS email list, that this COLANDER was the perfect card image for my Fool!! A colander lets everything wash over it, and even has a great cleansing ability!!! So it's like the ultimate Innocent, The Fool! So my fool is The Colander. On the back, I write "The openness of The Colander purifies."




The Colander/The Fool ©Susan Shie 1998.

Order # K-0-b: "The Colander / The Fool."

This card is a color printed photocopy of the actual quilt of The Colander, 34"h x 20"w, with all hand sewing, including the technique I came up with for making colander holes, which is to cut through all the quilt's layers, chop a hole, and bind it with satin stitching. All the writing in this piece is hand embroidery. The quilt also has mardi gras beads, bugle beads, both real clay and fimo objects, buttons, and some of my 3-D stuffed forms. The cat at the top is waiting for me to run the water, which any self respecting Kitchen Cat cannot resist staring at endlessly. I figured the first card should also introduce cats into the kitchen, where they usually hang out, except at night, when they're on our bed. But that's a different deck!!! The hands in the image are the cook's hard working pair, always busy in the kitchen's every process. On the back, I write "The openness of The Colander purifies."

In a regular Tarot deck, the first card is The Fool. The Colander is my substitute, because it is simple and lets everything just wash over it, and its presence cleanses by simple purification.

Salt and Pepper. ©Susan Shie 1998.Order # K-1: "The Salt and Pepper / The Magician"

This card is a color printed copy of the second quilt, which is 36"h x 22"w, with all hand sewing. In classical Tarot, the second card is The Magician, card #1, after #0.

Salt and pepper are like a magician's magic dust, sprinkled onto our food, and Presto Chango, the flavor is transformed! They are a lot stronger than the gentle herbal flavors of some seasonings, and they help this card stand for some assertive energy, traditionally seen as masculine.

But here they are softened with roses and some kinda blue flowers! On the back, I write "Create a tasty life!"



The Teapot/High Priestess ©Susan Shie 1998.Order # K-2: "The Teapot / High Priestess."

This card represents the ultimate energy of pure intuition, the female and lunar vibrations, which are nurturant and healing. Saint Quilta decided to make her first appearance in the deck, in this card. She wears the teapot on her head, while storing her usual Fiesta Ware teacup in the top left corner of the quilt. The actual piece is 87" h x 55"w. It glows nicely, in the dark! Corresponding to the days in a lunar cycle, there are 28 pockets in this quilt. On the back, I write "Relax and channel your intuition."

"The Teapot / High Priestess" is part of Quilt National '99, a juried international exhibition of 84 art quilts, which is touring for 2 1/2 years, until Dec, 2001. Many detail shots of this piece can be viewed in my Turtle Trax diary entry for Sept. 28, 1998.


The Stove/Empress ©Shie and Acord 1999.Order # K-3: "The Stove / Empress."

This card is a laminated reproduction of the fourth quilt of The Kitchen Tarot. The actual quilt is 74"h x 48"w. This piece represents the ultimate Earth Mother. What could be moreso in the kitchen, but the stove, a hot mama! The quilt has many quilted and embellished 3-D forms over a quilted and embellished background. Marigold the cat is at the bottom, above the word "Stove." St Quilta is just right of Marigold. There are lots of pink fish swimming around a stove made out of a rug. Its burners are CDs and its clock is a coffee can lid! We be cookin' with gas now!!!!! On the back of the card I write, "Hottest Mama in the Kitchen!"

The quilt was part of Jane Burch Cochran's challenge "The Lucky Tomato Pincushion Project," which had a lovely tour. You can read more about this quilt, and see a couple of detail shots of it, in my Jan 6, 99, diary entry.

The Fridge/Emperor. ©Shie and Acord 1999.Order # K-4: "The Fridge / Emperor."

Here is the laminated reproduction of the fifth quilt of The Kitchen Tarot. The actual quilt is 82"h x 55"w. In regular tarot, The Emperor is the kind ruler, the strong male figure, fatherlike. So we find Jimmy, my dear hubby, at the very middle top, in a little painted portrait, with Willy the cat on his shoulder. A big red fridge holds court in the middle of the quilt, reminding me of two fridges: one at Peters Valley fiber studio and the other my parents' one and only fridge, while I was growing up...only it was white. A big lime colored Willy Pendejo hangs around the bottom of the fridge, hoping to find some chow soon!

This quilt has lots of imagery to include it in The Dishtowel Quilt Project, as well as in The Kitchen Tarot. Note that all the parts of the dishtowel are scattered around the piece. There are two leather replicas of the dishtowel's apple pie, one on each side, and some St. Quiltas are blessing the kitchen. There are 18 pockets in this quilt, including the letters of "Fridge" and the calendar months, which are backed with tiger fabric, since the year was Tiger's year. On back of each of the cards, I wrote, "Be cool and dependable!"

You can read more about this quilt, and see some detail shots in my Turtle Trax Diary for May 27, 99.

The Cookbook / Hierophant ©Shie and Acord 2001.Order # K-5: "The Cookbook / Hierophant." (This is only the central image of the real quilt from which this is taken.)

This card is a laminated reproduction of a part of the sixth quilt of The Kitchen Tarot. The actual quilt is 61"h x 71"w, which is a horizontal format. This central painted, quilted and beaded panel is cropped out of the real quilt image. It is sewn into the larger quilt only at the top. So, if you're looking at the whole quilt, you can flip this part up and find another painting behind it!

We used the Cookbook as the Kitchen Tarot substitute for the Hierophant, because the Hierophant (called the Pope or High Priest in very old decks) is the authority figure. Cookbooks give us precise instructions on how to create food...and then some of us follow those plans well, and some of us just look at the pictures and skim the writing and do our own thing in cooking!

I learned how to cook from my mom and 4-H and Home Ec, and as I got older, I got looser with my cooking style. Now I tend to throw things together, with a base of cooking understanding that lets me have fun with making food.

Anyhow, in this card, we see the cookbook of the Turtle Moon Test Kitchen, where we do our thing in style, dancing with or around the rules of society! I guess if you get this card in a reading, you need to look at how you respond to rules, how they are effecting the situation. Hmmmmmmm.

On the back of this laminated card, I write: "Learn from your teachers, and then - EXPERIMENT!"

You can read more about the making of this quilt in my diary for September 19, 2000.

Well, that's where I stopped adding those tiny pictures, back in 2001. Sometime this year, in 2008, I will have a Kitchen Tarot Gallery up on my Gallery link index. Maybe this Fall. Thanks, Lucky

Turtle Moon Studios
Susan Shie

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