When I thought about it, I was able to set aside my urge to finish quickly and to just relax, enjoy playing with various samples and let it take its own time to reach a conclusion. Sian reassured me by saying I should have faith that it would all come together to thrill me with the results.
This was just the advice I needed and I've had fun over the past few weeks. I did simplify the elements into circles (from the barrels and the fish scales) and grids (from the fishing nets). The grids were ideally symbolised by drawn thread work.
Here below are the samples I've done:
Sample 1 was cheating just a little as it was pulled thread work rather than drawn thread. The hessian was so loosely woven that I could just push my hand through to distort the threads. I painted the back with acrylic matt medium to hold the circle open and stabilise the threads. After drying overnight I worked buttonhole stitch around the circle.
Sample 2 was made by working stem stitch in a circle and then withdrawing 4 threads and leaving 4 in both directions. A shiny thread was then used to work around each square of remaining fabric going over 1 group of threads and under two.
Sample 3 was worked in the same way as Sample 1 and then a white mohair thread was used to throw across 4 threads before working around as in a Dorset Button to fill the circle.
Sample 4 was made from a charity shop bangle. I worked buttonhole stitch around the outside with silver thread, as in Dorset Buttons and then turned the edge to the inside. I then laid down some more silver threads, this time in a grid rather than like the spokes of a wheel. I then wove some narrow ribbon through the threads.
In Sample 5, I worked three circles. The top one was worked as Hedebo work, with the circle outlined with rows of chain stitch before threads were removed horizontally. Herringbone stitch was worked over the remaining bars and then strips of acetate, printed with the old photographs (which were the initial inspiration for this topic) woven between the bars. In the second circle, the rows of chain stitch were worked and then the whole centre of the circle removed. In the bottom circle, shisha stitch was worked to secure a circle cut from the printed acetate. I like that the weave of the fabric can be seen under the acetate.
In sample 6, I worked a circle with rows of chain stitch using different threads. I then withdrew two threads and left two within the circle and worked Russian drawn thread ground over the grid using a thread similar in colour to the hessian.
|4.11. Sample 7|
In Sample 7, a bunch of dark blue threads were couched down in a circle before threads were withdrawn from the inside of the circle in the ratio withdraw two, leave two in both directions. Russian Drawn Thread ground was then worked before strips of irridescent shot sheer fabric and some shiny threads were woven through the grid.
|4.11. Sample 8|
Sample 8 was worked in the same way as Sample 1 but in silver thread. A grid of threads was then laid down before needlelace was worked over them, weaving a small circle around each intersection. I found the technique for this technique in another lucky charity shop find: a book by L.A. Tebbs, entitled "The New Lace Embroidery (Punto Tagliato)" published by Chapman & Hall, Ltd in London in 1905!
|4.11. Sample 9|
In Sample 9, I turned the technique used in Sample 5 on its head - instead of replacing drawn threads in fabric with strips of printed acetate, I cut a grid of holes in an overall circular shape from a piece of printed acetate and wove through strips of fabric, one of which had been worked with drawn thread work.
I liked all these little samples so much that, while I was working on them, I wondered if I could join them together to make a little book, perhaps a concertina one. They would need some sort of support or stiffening in order to stand up. Could I perhaps mount them on perspex or acetate. I had been keen to incorporate the old photographs in some way, perhaps I could print the old photos onto acetate and mount each sample on a photograph.
I had a little try with two photos and used sellotape to temporarily mount the work on them, using a simple insertion stitch to join them. You can see the results below in Sample 10.
|4.11. Sample 10|
Here below are all 9 of my samples each laid on a printed photo. I've laid them out on a white table to make them easier to see.
|Drawn thread work samples laid over photos printed on acetate|
I think I might be onto something here . . .