Sunday, 2 September 2012

White Blossoms and empty frames

After a hectic few weeks which have included long stitching sessions, no stitching at all, a death, and the arrival of new life, life is pausing for thought.  Although the death of my Aunt was expected and came at the end of a long life was still sad but instead of putting me off stitching it made me want to focus on nothing more than the frame so as not to think about anything else, so I made lots of progress on White Blossoms.
As I've worked on this piece over the last two years it has annoyed, frustrated, and fascinated me.  The concept of using just two colours has been interesting and there are some techniques I will certainly use again. 
I'd got a bit stuck on this piece truth be told and hadn't worked on it for a while.  I just wanted it finished and off the frame.  The two marathon stitching sessions following my Aunt's death got me over the hiatus and into liking this piece again.  A parting gift perhaps.  
Last week our family numbers increased with the arrival of my cousin's triplets.  He and his wife have waited a long time for their arrival and I'm very pleased that they finally have the family that they have waited for for so long. 

The final task on White Blossoms was to put in the flat gold.  I'd left this for last having been warned it could be quite fiddly and I didn't want to do it any damage while working on the rest of the piece.
The flat gold consists of very fine sections of paper with gold leaf on both sides, each end is still attached to the main section of paper as you can see below.  
Each section is cut as it is used, the rest stays attached to the ends and wrapped in paper to keep it safe. It is real gold leaf and is very expensive, you don't want to loose any.  I used it in half lengths.
This is a single section of the flat gold, for scale the black lines are 1mm apart!!!
Using a #11 needle to stitch with you can see from the picture below the flat gold goes through the eye without distorting the paper.  I found the gold quite wiry and easier to manipulate than I thought.  Slow and sure being the trick.
Starting with one of the small circles I took a deep breath and put needle to silk.  There is no way of knotting flat gold, the ends have to be left loose and you have to try not to pull them through when stitching.  I worked from one end to the other then cut off the gold and did the next line.  I'd put a few sections in leaving the loose ends on the wrong side of the fabric but after pulling sections out by accident a new tack was called for.  I left the loose ends on the right side of the fabric and after finishing the area turned the frame over and gently pulled the loose ends to the back.  This worked well, and though it looks untidy in the picture below once the ends are at the back it is fine.  
It's an interesting variation on the tye dye technique and the flat gold is truly glorious, with the shimmer and shine that only comes from highly polished real gold. 
And so, White Blossoms is finished ... 
... and now I find myself in a situation which has not occurred since I started my Japanese embroidery journey eight years ago - I do not have another piece on a frame or immediately ready to move onto.  All my frames are empty and I really have no idea what I will work on next. 

Watch this space ...................................................   


NCPat said...


Rachel said...

It looks fabulous - well worth the time!

Now, (casting eye over project books, ideas and courses) what next? I'm longing to see!

coral-seas said...

After all of the annoyance, frustration and fascination, how do you feel about the finished piece? I think it is stunning. When I finally get around to stitching mine, I shall be coming to you for advice :-)

It's beautiful Jane, well done.

Empty frames - unheard off!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...