Thursday, 27 March 2014

Thinking outside the box

 I've been trained in traditional embroidery, and one of the hardest things to do is to break out of that mindset, even though I want to experiment I keep going back to traditional methods! And I'm not yet experienced enough to use traditional method  'creatively'. Anyway, I've done the beak in leather.........
Bird's beak
.........and the grasses heads are in assorted beads.


Bird's breast
The breast is done with long and short stitch in single strand DMC, and the shadow under the head is silver passing done in or nue. 

I'm still thinking about the leaves on the grasses.... tick, tick!

Friday, 21 March 2014

Big Foot

I finally completed the padding and felting, so could start on the tasty bit! Over the string and felt of the feet I stitched some black leather to make the webbed skin and then couched two threads of lurex backwards and forwards over the string padding under the leather for the bones in the foot.

I know this is a stylised bird, but they are huge feet!

Gilt leather was then applied for the head in two pieces with a small piece of white leather for the eye. In the eye I stitched with invisible thread in straight stitch and then applied a small bead.

Finally, I had my first go at working with broad plate for his top 'feathers'. I'm not exactly happy with the plate, it needs to be spaced a bit better at a less acute angle so I'll probably do this again. He's certainly a bit of a 'blingy' bird!
Shiny, shiny!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Preparing for goldwork

Before you can really start with a piece of goldwork you have to prepare for the areas that will need to be padded prior to embroidering them. There is just about every type of padding in this piece..........
Soft string overlaid with felt and layers of felt for wing

Both feet felted

Carpet felting for the head
The carpet felt is then overlaid with felt. I have used grey and yellow felt as bases for different coloured threads and leathers.

However, I can do little bits of embroidery to relieve the tedium of padding. So you can see the breast has fly stitch feathers in DMC Diamante.

Handmade cord
And I made my own cord with two shades of Diamante for the grass stalks. Next I'll stitch leather on the feet for the webbing and then embroider the bones in.

Oh, and I made my second set of tweed curtains :).