Friday, 21 August 2009

Kusudama, flower circle, the beginning

I learned something new about flower circles while at my phase 10 class, traditionally they were made out of medicinal plants and were hung in the home as a preventative measure. Actually flower circle is probably not a completely accurate translation because in reality they are spheres. We see them a lot as decoration on fabrics like in the beautiful kimono below from Ichiroya and there are a number of embroidery designs which incorporate flower circles.

JEC have two very beautiful phase 10 pieces called Kusudama and Double Cypress Fans. I decided to do Kusudama as it was designed to incorporate all 46 Japanese embroidery techniques, and it will be interesting to re-visit techniques that I have not done since the early phases. I also decided to work the piece on gold nishijin fabric as it's going to a very special piece.

In the photo above you can see how the gold leaf coated paper in woven into the weft of the fabric. Gold, or silver, nishijin is very nice to stitch on but you do have to be very accurate when placing your needle as once a hole is made it will not completely disappear if something has to be re-stitched.

During our class we spent each morning going over every single technique in fine detail and then in the afternoon we practiced techniques we wanted help with. I decided to work on one of the couched metallic motifs because, as you probably know by now, this is my least favorite and worst technique so because Kazumi was available I could take advantage of her experience to get some tips to improve.

This little motif is about the size of a 10p piece and is couched from the centre outwards. To create different looks using silver thread it can be couched using different colours, I decided to couch this motif in pink to give it a warmer look. Couching thread isn't available in pink so I had to make my own by twisting a 1 into 2 thread. Starting this motif was a bit fiddly as it's a very, very, very tight turn for the first few rounds. I'm quite pleased with how this turned out, it's nice and round, but there are a couple of bits which need a fix. Although it doesn't show in this picture a couple of sections are couched too tightly together and the thread has lifted slightly, also the fact the couching doesn't line up creating a brick pattern is bugging me so it'll have to come out and be done again!! I know it seems a minor thing, but it's my phase 10 piece and I want to get it a good as I can.

One of the techniques I've never had to do in any of my pieces is long legged knots. So after Kazumi had demonstrated both knots and long legged knots I did a few practice stitches which worked quite well. Haven't done any of these on the Kusudama yet.

And to finish with tonight this is a photo of our classroom.

1 comment:

Plays with Needles said...

what a beautiful beginning...I hope your enthusiasm rubs off on just might...that frame actually called my name the other day but I still haven't answered. Your circle is perfectly round! Bravo Jane!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...