Tuesday, 1 April 2008


Treasure Ship is slowly growing and I've been doing some work on the treasures, and have learned an interesting new technique. I've seen this technique on pieces in books but have never been able to figure out how it was done. Sometimes it also seems to include padding, although not in this case.

The new technique is used on the magic mallet and is used to create a wood grain design. This motif is quite small (only about 3cm across) so required a very fine needle (#7) and only one strand of flat silk. Carol-Anne recently wrote a post on working front to back or back to front where she talks about how, in Japanese embroidery, we normally work the foreground first, this new technique is one of the exceptions to the rule.

If I was stitching this drum in the usual way the tiny little piece of woodgrain you can make out on the transfer at the top of the picture ought to be worked first as it's in the foreground. However for this technique each section of woodgrain has to overlap the one underneath it, so we start at the back and work forwards, stitching each layer into the previous one.

You can see here how the wood grain is starting to take shape. I had to take this out a couple of times before I was happy with it, I still think it could be better but it's the first time I've tried this technique so next time it will be better.

And here it is with the woodgrain completed. I still need to put in some gold thread to finish this motif, but I'll do that later after some more work on the sail has been done. I really like how this technique looks, think I'll have to look out for a design to try it out again, maybe on a larger scale so some padding can be incorporated.

There are three 'treasures' on the sail of the treasure ship (well four if you count the shippo background), the magic mallet, sedge hat, and straw cape. All these treasures are worked with flat silk, the lines on the cape and hat are couched karayori threads. All need various ties and edgings worked in gold metallic but they will be stitched after the shippo design is completed.

For anyone who is wondering what's happened with Iris Stream it's getting there. The stream is all that is all that is left to be completed and I'm working on it a bit at a time.


coral-seas said...

How beautiful, Jane. I have not seen that technique before that I'm aware of. I will be looking out for it now.

Obviously, any technique that involves overlapping stitches will have to be stitched back to front. I wonder if there are any techniques that don't have overlapping stitches that are worked this way!

Those treasures look lovely, I can imagine how wonderful they will look with the gold.


Susie said...

Your work never ceases to amaze me, so beautiful.

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