Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beginning a new course - Intermediate Historical and Contemporary Embroidery

HUGE apologies for such a long break between blog posts ! Finally the Sydney night time temps have started to fall which means easier, more restful sleeping and I'm starting to get my energy back a little. Also I've started my Intermediate Historical and Contemporary Embroidery Certificate Course at the Embroiderers' Guild NSW and everyone knows that the time alloted for homework assignments is NEVER enough, no matter how organised you are, LOL. Our class meets a different tutor each month over 2 years to study a different subject.

In February we looked at how to research Embroidery using the Guild and outside resources. We each chose a different piece of work from the Guild's extensive archives and studied it, then worked a sample from the piece. Finally we designed a contemporary version of that sample. Fitting the whole assignment on the set A3 page (equal to 2 A4 or standard pages) was the hardest part, but I succeeded eventually after much editing then trimming and gluing printed pages.

This was my chosen piece, an embroidered sage green wool jacket by Beatrice Russell from our Collection, featuring 12 graduated needlewoven motifs in silk thread on front, back and sleeves. Stunning !!

Above is my historical sample being set up. I hooped up a piece of hand dyed felted wool fabric in a similar colour to the jacket which I was lucky enough to find at the CraftExpo in Sydney the week before. Then I threaded my warps through a central point (Stef Francis variegated silk perle) and anchored them in the binding of the hoop for some tension.

I chose to work just one small segment of a motif, which I called coral or anenomes rather than stars as the catalogue card stated.
Although I couldn't hope to match the beautiful colours Beatrice had hand dyed for her original piece, I chose some colours similar to hers in perle cotton and silk threads. I anchored my thread on the back then started needleweaving using a back stitch, graduating to over one thread/under one weaving when I divided off, then wrapping towards the end of each warp. Luckily I choose a technique I have done before for my first assignment, no use re-inventing the wheel as they say. However I'd forgotten how long this technique takes and how fiddly, but the results were quite good. I wish I had time to work more of the motif, but the aim was to show an understanding of the technique used, and I did that. Here is the weaving completed, and below the finished motif segment after all the ends were plunged through the wool and secured with small stitches in machine thread on the rear, as in goldwork embroidery.

Then came my contemporary version of the motif, with gold beading wire warps and variegated knitted tubular rayon ribbon as the back stitched filling. Cute !

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Christine, the jacket is beautiful & so inspiring with that multicoloured needle weaving. I just love your contemporary version with the wrapped wire & knitting ribbon. Nice going!