Friday, 20 September 2019

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Wasp's nest

 This has been ongoing for a while now! I am trying to make a wasp's nest in raised lace. The stitches aren't difficult in themselves, it's trying to think like a wasp that is hard. Do I work across the surface in layers or do I make each cell completely before I move onto the next? I am trying a staggered surface because of the risk of crushing each part as I go with my fingers.

I was given some coarse linen thread a while ago and it has a good 'chewed paper' colour and is robust when stitched. The down side is that it wears very quickly.

 It is starting to build quite nicely though..

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Studio stuff

It's getting very warm in the studio and it's not always easy to sit and do white work with hot hands!
One little tool that I've been given does make things a lot easier, a pair of toothed tweezers. They are a medical tool, inexpensive, but they are brilliant for getting rid of bits of fluff and holding the thread securely when you are doing fine work. The ends have tiny 'teeth' which grip but do not damage,perfect for needlelace!

..and this is why. I am doing a large piece of raised lace with lichen like growth and sometimes I just need more grip. This one is being done on vellum in the traditional way but there is nothing else traditional about it. The threads will be unusual and so will the presentation. However, it will take a while to get this one made so in the meantime I have several small pieces on the go to stop me going mad!

Friday, 14 June 2019

The Slashed Doublet

  I have always been drawn to Tudor costume and the slashed patterns in the fabric. Some years ago I went to an exhibition of costume at the Queens' Gallery and there was a beautiful little jacket with bound edged slashes all edged with french knots.The level of detail was extraordinary and I squirreled it away in my mind for another time! Five years later the opportunity arose to have a go and so I tried to put as much detail into my little panel as in that doublet. The panel is part of a piece of work made for my medical residency where I have created objects to draw parallels between the worlds of textiles and surgery.

 For this panel I layered organza over taffeta to create a shot effect. There were three smaller panels which formed the final square and each piece was hand bound, gathered, slashed and embroidered. The panels were then laced together with silk ribbon tipped with silver aiguillettes.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Lots to tell

  It is very rare that I talk about the medical work on this blog for fear or frightening people away ! but I can share some details of my new piece with you now as it's all about embroidery and colour. I have created a folding cube toy which has nine embroidered or raised surfaces inspired by costume detail. It illustrates how surgeons understand some of the body by using conceptual space, if you need to know more then click here for my medical blog. I will devote a few posts to this beginning here with some 18thC trimming techniques.
 Above we have a tiny length of passementerie known as fly fringe. I was looking at this on a dress at the V&A museum and have discovered that they were made by people who lived and worked near the silk weavers. They often worked together to provide matching trimmings for a customer as each length of silk was made in very small quantities. The button makers would be nearby too and I love to think of these creative and skilled communities working together, albeit probably unappreciated by the client!

  There is a pocket flap on this panel so it required a button. I made a covered bead as I often do for my stumpwork pieces and looked for some buttonhole inspiration. I settled on a couched buttonhole with metal thread set back slightly from a bound edged.
  The book I used for most of this piece was the V&A's 'Historical Fashion in Detail, the 17th and 18th Century', now in another format.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

So long at the fair

   I haven't forgotten this blog, it's just that everything is being made but nothing finished! Did I mention the wasps nest that I'm making or the tiny box of stones or the lace...…….
Well, here is a sneak peek at something much more mysterious, others will appear on the 'other' blog soon.


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