OK, no excuses; I’m just completely engrossed by the Olympics! Yep, here’s me unfit and totally unsporty and overweight leaping up and down screaming at two men/women in a boat and listening intently to the intricacies of the cycle racing. I race from the TV to my frame, stab a few stitches into the slippers and race back again for the action.
Consequently, not a lot to show for this week’s effort but don’t we all feel on top of the world, basking in the reflected glow from our athletes? What economic downturn, heh we got 22 golds so far! Don’t you like that WE?
So, I’m afraid it’s more past modules that I am posting this week. I put up my certificate work last week…….
I started my Diploma after a short hiatus when I just did ‘my own thing’.
I decided that I really needed to get to grips with silk shading. I had never done it before the certificate piece and I found it really hard to get my head round the idea of it. OK long and short stitch is not complicated but then you have to paint with the threads. I got really uptight which doesn’t help your work. So I decided to do something that would not be assessed, just for my development. That’s how I came to do my Hare.
Silk shading - Hare
He is based on a Durer print from the 16th century and I loved doing him. As much as anything I think it was the soft muted colours and then seeing him come to life once the texture was added. He made my mind up – I would continue with the Diploma. Once he was completed he went to a good home as a thank you to somebody who had always been interested in what I was doing.
The Diploma allows you to choose either an animal or a figure for the silk shading module. I adore medieval art whether illuminated manuscripts, paintings or embroidery and I found the fabulous Mantle of the Golden Fleece embroideries made for one of the medieval chivalric orders. I think this is Saint Barbara from the tower she holds in her arm.
Diploma Silk Shading
The original vestments were executed in or nué. This piece is done in tapestry shading, that is vertically laid long and short stitch. The hare was done in directional long and short i.e. following the lines of his coat.
Detail of hands
Detail of Mantle
Detail of head
So each picture shows a slightly different technique to get a similar result. Some of her proportions are odd but that comes from the medieval image and I think adds a certain charm. The hair is done in single thread stem stitch using small stitches in rows. The head dress is not padded but the effect comes from using directional shading to get the effect! There is also a small amount of pearl purl to highlight the halo from the head dress. Again I loved the colours - these so different from the softness of the hare's fur.I wouldn’t say silk shading is my favourite method but I got over some of my hang-ups and I will come back to it in due course to work again on my own thing!