Saturday, December 6, 2014

Nameless piece appliques dyed

So, just to prove I do, too, work in the studio still, I dyed those goldwork applique pieces and here's the results.  A kind of soft green, and as hoped the gold threads shine right through.

Not sure whether to do other parts of this work first then the applique, or whether the appliques in place will help determine the rest of the piece.  I'm leaning toward the second.

Friday, December 5, 2014

About that big plan for taking time off from making art..

About that plan to take a bit of time to let new ideas soon as I made that decision, I had a great urge to search through my very small stash of threads and fabrics, and suddenly found a new idea demanding to be heard.  I just can't take orders, even from myself.

I found a remnant of what I think is handblocked Japanese fabric, black design on grey background.  I used another piece of this in an earlier exhibit piece, using the front of the fabric, but looking back at that, now found it okay, but much more timid than what I propose here.

I've stretched this, and plan to use the back of the fabric, and work on the top of the frame, artist style, not the back of the frame, stitcher style, so that the piece will be ready to hang as is, once completed.

You see the chalked-on design, nice curved shapes, and this reminded me of some goldwork samples I made when I was first learning goldwork, teaching myself, and here would be a place to applique them and they'll work.  

I backed them with stick-on plastic, to preserve the edges from fraying, then cut them from their original fabric, and here you see them placed temporarily in what might not be their eventual home.  The white edges will support additional stitching. I might still dye the pieces, too, because the gold threads will shine through well. It would have been good to think of dyeing it before I cut it out, but oh well.

And I've put out a selection of gold and silver threads, including some real gold threads, finally using them, the ones you see on the cardboard tubes, already rolled and ready for action.

So this is what happens when you don't plan to make art. This piece is currently known as No Name, until it develops to where I know what it's about.

I also finally did some moving of lights, so that the table can be useful as a workplace, and the sofa as a nonwork spot.  

I just moved the dining table lamp and switched it with the tasklight I had set up over the sofa.  I think I'll have less competition from cats if I work at a table.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Third Wilderness Piece done, I think

Last part of the wilderness series is now complete.  In my title I say I think it's complete.  Can't tell exactly, but it's framed and I'll get some input before I decide whether to leave it where it is. I like many things about it, but I'm a bit too close to know.

At this point I plan to take a little thinking break about next works to come. Don't know yet what they are, but that's why I need the bit of time.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Joy of Art, the Agony of Framing

Or, as wise friend Stefi has been known to say, if you want the pleasure of framing, first you have to go through the boredom and misery of making art...

Anyway, today after framing three pieces, I ran out of strength and patience and all that framing entails, and have not quite finished framing up the rest of my work.  One more wilderness piece and a couple of goldwork pieces to go.

Working in 3D i.e. stumpwork and other similar techniques, creates a particularly shall we say challenging situation for framing, since you can't put the work face down in order to mount the fabric on to the backing, the usual procedure.  

You have to preserve the surface and work sight unseen at the back pulling and adjusting the tapes and getting the artwork properly centered and taut without crushing the fragile embroidery or shoving it out of place.  My nerves were not centered, but definitely taut.  Remembering how many hours go into making this work in the first place, you really don't want things to go all pear shaped in the framing.

And I can only keep up this level of tension, meaning the physical kind, for so long before my hands start to whine and complain.  So I made the pix, for once remembering, I'm very proud to say, to leave the glass off for the pix, insert it after them, so that only had to be done once.  Then I decided that the night wilderness scene and a couple of goldwork pieces had to wait till tomorrow.  And now I'm having a cup of tea and gloating over my progress to date.

 Here's that wheat design I did, rayon thread, gah, with beads and other things on white linen, 8 x 8 inches -- it's a dark and stormy day, so the white doesn't show well here.

And here's the daytime wilderness pieces, with the glasswing insect now in place, along with the or nue sun and the blue and purple stumpwork butterfly.  The second picture is to indicate the frame a bit for you to see the boundaries of the piece.  It's 12 x 12.

The reason I want this framing done is that Sunday is the annual holiday bash of the Embroiderers' Guild, with a show and tell of this year's work, so I wanted to put my best stitch forward.

You may remember that I had planned to add all kinds of stuff into the wilderness pieces, but having made the small one, which was quite busy, decided I'd rather be spare with the other two, plenty of air around the insects is better than a crowd.  I still promise myself a goldwork bee in stumpwork, though, but he'll have another context.

The silver (it's silver, take my word for it) frame with the schwalm whitework in it amused me hugely because the design on the frame reflects in an updated sort of way the general design of the whitework. Just a little sight gag there.  I starched the whitework, too, figuring why not, the original stitchers probably did, too.