Friday, 30 April 2010

New design

I have this vintage wood block print book, it is from the Meiji period (1868-1912), and seems to be a book on historical costume. The description was that it contained examples of women dressed in kimono from the Edo period (1603-1867). There is writing on the prints but, not reading Japanese, I'm not sure what it says.
I thought it might be fun to take some of these drawings and adapt them into embroideries. It will give me some design practice, and also will give me some practice of developing my own colour sense.
I was rather taken by the lady in the first pair of pictures who is playing with the yo yo. So I spent some time tracing the picture and simplifying the folds and lines on the kimono until I thought that I had a pattern simple enough to stitch. The resulting pattern was sent off to my tutor for comments and a request to create a transfer onto some suitable silk. After some exchange of emails a package arrived in the post and with my design on some lovely cream silk with a shimmer of silver in it.
The design of pines you can see in the photo above will be superimposed over the top of the foundation, but I decided that the waterfall would go in first.
I'd spent some time looking at all my silks and planning out a colour scheme and how to stitch this piece. My original plan was to do the top kimono in orange (#207) and to help to create the folds in the kimono I would embroider the kimono in sections.
I actually got more of the orange silk in than is shown in the photo above, but then I decided that it was just too much, it overshadowed everything else, so out it came!
To come up with another scheme I got out all my boxes of silks and spread them over the floor.
Then sat and stared at them until some of the colours started to attract my attention. I also decided that stitching the kimono in sections would be far too complicated so have simplified how I am going to work this.
Out came all the orange silk, but I left in the waterfall. This time I've started from the neckline and am working from the back forwards rather than foreground first. The under kimono is purple (#616).
The second kimono is white, and the han-eri collar is a light violet (#632). These are also worked with flat silk in diagonal layer.
The main kimono is a lovely soft blue green (#544). I worked the collar in diagonal layer.
And the main section of the kimono in vertical layer. Where the sections of the kimono join or where the different colours meet I am working them right up against each other. No one point open space on these sections.
The obi remains in the original colour I chose (#726) which is working well with the new colour for the obi. Filling in the foundation isn't taking very long, but there will be a lot of superimposed work on top of the foundation which will take some doing. So back soon when I have more photos to show.
Check out this website - Michelle left a nice comment on my picture of himotaba on flicker so I checked out her site. Very lovely shibori inspired pieces, worth a visit.

9 comments:

Christa Evans said...

Hey Jane,

The design is exquisite! I like that you chose to take out the brighter orange and the new color scheme is working well. The darker orange obi goes well with the blue/green and voilets. GORGEOUS.

Christa

Sue said...

Wow Miss its gorgeous you have some lovely designs I can't wait to see it finished. One question 474 :-) lol Sue XX

Plays with Needles said...

Oh Jane! This is wonderful! The book is a real treasure and I give you highest marks for borrowing from it to create this beautiful and unique design. I have no doubt that your choices and your stitching will be exquisite. Can't wait to see the next installment.

Rachel said...

This looks delightful. I am looking forward to seeing how it develops!

coral-seas said...

What a gem of a book. I like the design you have chosen to work with first. I liked the orange but agree that it could have been over powering. The blue green that you are using now is beautiful. I look forward to watching this develop.

NCPat said...

Beautiful!

Jackie said...

This is really beautiful, I love the colours cannot wait to see it grow.

Susie said...

Am so looking forward to seeing this one finished, such a charming design and beautiful colours....
you must the most wonderful patience!

shirley said...

Your Japanese Embroidery is exquisite Jane, and you have real eye for colour. Cant wait to see this finish...

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