Tang and the Miles to the Moon by Susan Lenz

Tang and the Miles to the Moon

Susan Lenz

Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Artist Statement

“Tang and the Miles to the Moon” is an exercise in patience. Ordinary black cotton was discharged with bleach applied in circular motions and by flinging the liquid with a toothbrush in order to convey a night sky filled with stars. I “over-dyed” the result in a large container of Tang, a space era beverage that I remember fondly and associate with the excitement of all the Apollo Missions. Most of the Tang’s orange coloring rinsed away but the exposure was an important part of the conceptual reason for this work.

The other concept was to mark the miles to the moon, one stitch for every ten average miles. Metallic threads were used for their sheen and light reflective qualities. The distance to the moon varies throughout its orbit but the average number of miles is 238,857. In an art quilt measuring only 30″ x 18″, that means 44.2 stitches per square inch.

The stitching was accomplished in the late afternoons during a rural art residency at Wormfarm Institute outside Reedsville, WI. I enjoyed sitting on top of an abandoned rusty car, watching the moon rise, and patiently tallying the miles to the moon in stitches.


Discharged fabric using bleach, over-dyed with Tang, running stitches.


Cotton fabric and an assortment of metallic threads.

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