Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Saturday, 4 December 2010
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
One of things that people always ask about traditional Japanese embroidery is how long it takes. Well it's all relative of course, and some people work faster than others, but one of the things that it is important to spend time on is preparation. Without good preparation it is impossible to get a good finish, and of course this all adds time.
So I worked on this little section on Sunday evening, all together it took about 3 hours. I put in the foundation of the shells and the top of the shell box, all in flat silk. Then I put in temporary holding threads, these are held down at regular intervals with small stitches. The long threads seen in the photo will come out but the small holding stitches won't so I had to twist up 2-1 couching threads in the same colour as the foundations. These holding threads will stop the foundation moving while I work the layer over the top.The shells are designed to pick up on the chrysanthemum theme. The design of the petals has been traced and tacked over the foundation. I think I'm going to work these little petal shapes with a metallic thread, but I'm still thinking about it. The tracing on the right doesn't match the stitched section, I'll have to trace that one again and do it once I've completed the other two shells. Once I completed the section above I had some more fun with maple leaves.
Friday, 29 October 2010
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Saturday, 18 September 2010
It's been pretty quiet here since we exhibited at the show a couple of weeks ago. As usual it was very busy, so much so I didn't get chance take any photos.
As usual we met lots of lovely people, all of whom were very kind about our work. Yoyo san got here own very special visitor. Rachel from VirtuoSew Adventures made the journey especially to meet her. It was wonderful to meet Rachel in 'real life' to put a face to the blog and to chat about lots of different things. Thank you Rachel for coming to visit Yoyo san (and the rest of us!).
For a while now I've been thinking about drawing up some smaller designs I've got and making them available in the etsy shop. After much prevaricating I've finally got round to drawing up a couple and loading them into the shop. At the moment the designs are very traditional Japanese designs, as I develop my own style this may change, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy them.
First is a design of an Uchiwa fan decorated with chrysanthemums. I've got a couple of designs of cypress and suehiro fans but they are still on the drawing board. If you'd like to know more about fans I did a short post on them over here on the JE blog.
Monday, 30 August 2010
Sunday, 29 August 2010
This is embroidered on black shusu and uses only black, white, and a bit of gold. I've had this piece for a while and it includes some variations on techniques which I've been looking forward to learning. The large chrysanthemum above looks a bit 'gappy', I'm hoping this is just because the fabric is black and it's showing through more than normal. The spacing was fine before I put the knots on the top. I've done another chrysanthemum on another section of the piece and have put the foundation a touch closer together. We'll see what it looks like once the knots have gone in. If it looks better I'll take this first one out and re-do it. One of the techniques I've been enjoying is this two tone katayori. I love the stripey effect it makes. A slightly thicker black and white katayori is used to outline the large chrysanthemum petals. I wound both of the katayori onto koma to help to keep the tension on the thread. This has made it much easier to work with, particularly in working the turn at the top of the petal.
I've done a bit more on this since these photos were taken and it's starting to come together very nicely. I was looking at my photos from my Japan trip this weekend and came across this photo of a decoration on a huge door at the Meiji shrine in Tokyo. Look familiar?
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Sphere sprialsThey remind me of the JEC phase piece - Resonance cords. This fabulous example was embroidered by Iris who lives in Australia. So I will continue to ponder on how to interpret a mobius strip in JE techniques. I'd love to do as suggested by Michelle Griffiths, a shibori artist based in Wales, and embroider a giant one 6 feet or so across but not really sure how I could do this. So I'll start on a smaller version and work up to the giant one (maybe!). In the meantime I am working on the JEC piece white blossoms - I have to have something to stitch. I am finding this piece very restful. No pictures to share yet - watch this space.
PS - have been getting some spam comments recently so have had to switch the comment moderation back on - sorry