Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Progress report

I feel I've been lingering too long over this Module, so will attempt to post regularly now, even if I just have a small amount of progress to show.  As Picasso once said, "Inspiration will come but it has to find you working."  And so I have decided not to wait until I am in the mood to work, but just to sit down and start.

When I first decided to interpret the poem in the form of four small books, an idea was in my head already for one of the books, the starfish one.  It seemed to me that a concertina book would be ideal for this, like the children's cut out of a row of dolls etc.  I made a mock up out of paper painted orange and I quite liked the liveliness of it.

Starfish book 1 -  First mock-up of starfish book

In order to make all four books work together as a whole, I followed Sian's suggestion to find some way of linking them even though their shapes and colours would be different.  I liked her idea of making all the pages from silk paper and echoing the edge stitching on each one.

When I first made the silk paper for the starfish book, I thought that the success of the shell book's pages must have been beginner's luck, because this second attempt was soft and fragile and I didn't think it would be strong enough for the pages of a book.  However, once I had painted each side with diluted Marvin Medium and let it dry, it acquired the necessary crispness.  The oversewing of the edges will stop the layers separating too.

Starfish book 2 - The silk paper starfish pages

At the same time (I always like to have some "watching tv" stitching on the go)  I made a start on the embroidered cover of the book.  I intend to make it the same way as the shell book, with an embroidered slip covering a piece of stiff card, shaped by applying some self-hardening clay to the card before covering it with the embroidery.  I have found some clay that dries to a slightly soft rubbery consistency which seems ideal.  As before, I am using stem stitch in fairly thick thread (six strands of stranded cotton).  I intend to try to portray the texture of the starfish skin with French knots on top of the stem stitch.  (Hope it works!)

Starfish book 3 - work so far

Since Wednesday is usually quite a free day for me, my 2017 resolution is to post something every Wednesday.  It will be a spur to make me keep going.