Friday, May 31, 2013

Finishing Falling Stars

I have the piece mounted on a foam board, with a gold lame backing. It turned out reasonably straight, so I think it is ok to finish it in a frame, behind glass. One thing I've learned is at this point, to position it vertically and let it settle for several days, and then re-pin and really finish the piece. I learned that the hard way; one other piece developed a sagging bubble after a week or so.

I will order the frame after I finish lacing the piece. Much as I dislike a cliche, a black bamboo frame looks good with it.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Japanese Scroll dimensions

I found 2 references of interest for Japanese scroll mounting - Chris A. Paschke's article, and the blog by Daniel M. Burkus. The discussion by Burkus is very interesting, explaining why the scrolls are made the way they are, and why they should be hung crooked. But it is difficult to read. The article by Paschke is also illuminating; after re-reading it several times I believe I have the proportions for my piece as a scroll. As in everything Japanese, the rules are very rigid. I will not be able to follow it to the letter - I'll call it an "adaptation" (like a Hollywood movie adaptation of Hamlet, e.g.). According to both articles, the gross dimension of the lower section is half of the upper section. There are also guidelines for color and pattern for the different parts depending on the historic period, to be absolutely authentic.
I will meditate on this while I start steaming and finishing my Falling Stars.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Falling Stars Done

The stitching is done!

I used half-hitched .8 gold metallic and satin stitched for the glow spots.

I have the material for a soft scroll, and this site Japanese scrolls gave me ideas on how to assemble it as a scroll. The wikipedia site Kakemono showed me something I didn't know before - that the top section (Ten)  should be longer than the bottom section (Chi). From the picture it looks that the Chi is 2/3 the length of the Ten. I wonder how precise the proportion needs to be. Hmmm, more googling needed.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Reed Stalks

The stalks on the right side are done, only things left are the stalks on the left side, and the glow spots.

I still haven't decided whether I want the glow spots to be white, or silver, or gold. I'll have to experiment.

As for finishing I may have difficulty getting the horizontal lines to be aligned perfectly in the frame. I will see if lacing helps; otherwise a soft scroll may be the way to go.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Reed leaves and veins

The leaves improved by themselves just by sitting overnight. ;-) So I left them alone.

 The veins of the orange and purple leaves are single strands of #4 gold, couched with orange and purple. The veins of the blue leaves are green, and the veins of the green leaves are blue.

For the piece after Camellia, I picked the Hydrangea Summer Scroll, as hydrangea is one of my favorite flowers. I did not notice this piece until several days ago, and ordered it right away. Too bad the Tsuyushiba Sha fabric is no longer available.  I have to order a different pattern (water pattern) - and I don't know what the water pattern looks like. From the JEC Facebook page:

Or if you are on Facebook, this link -Summer Hydrangea.

Another piece I just ordered is Faded Treasures - Antique mirrors. This one is going to be nerve wrecking as it's a Phase XIX, but I have wanted it from the beginning.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Reed leaves

I finally got the hang of the reed leaves. Well maybe not totally, but much improved. I still don't have the knack of "looking ahead" so I can traverse the voids smoothly. However the veins made the leaves look nicer. For the orange leaves I think I'll use gold as the veins.
I may have to re-do some of the leaves since they don't look as good as the good ones. I already took out the  leaves on the left side.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Reed leaves

Finished with the flat gold, and started on the reed leaves.
The leaves on the right side (orange and green) look much better than those on the left side. I may have to re-stitch. I will wait till the right side is done before deciding.

I'm thinking about the finishing for the piece. For her piece, Kay Stanis put a piece of gold lame as backing, so that the carry-over of the flat gold under the voids would not be obvious. She also finished it as a scroll. I will do the gold lame underneath, but probably will do it as a framed piece.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Flat gold done

Flat gold fencing couched and done. I used up 15.5 strands of flat gold (1.5 packets). I will review tomorrow to see if there are any missing stitches.

Should be much easier from this point on.
Just saw a missing fence section, will fix it tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Flat gold fences

Made good progress today. In fact the flat gold is almost done, although the couching lags behind somewhat.  I found that when I couch the long spans, it works better if I couch one end, then the middle, then the other end, and then go back and fill in the middle couching stitches. That probably isn't the correct way, but for me it turns out better.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Flat gold fences

What was achieved by one packet (10 strands)  of flat gold. I wasted about 1 or 1.5 strand of flat gold, and about 3/4 of the way done. Hope this turns out ok.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Flat gold fences

Moving along, still slow, but not as much un-stitching as before.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Flat gold solved!

I am so happy I've figured it out! Here's the story.

During class with Kay Stanis, she told me that the flat gold starts at the 2nd hole from the left void, then weft layer at every other "valley" (actually hole, as the Ro fabric does not have defined valleys), and end up adjacent to the subsequent (right) void, for a total of 5 laid flat gold's.
Here's my fabric much expanded, with the needle I use for the flat gold. When I counted the weft threads between voids I have 12 threads! That means I end up with 1 hole remaining! I went back to look at Kay's piece, and her Ro fabric has 11 threads between voids, not 12!! That was my EUREKA! moment.
So the moral is, for the Ro fabric with flat gold, count to see how many threads there are between voids, and adjust accordingly.

Another problem is the size of the needle. As the flat gold requires the largest needle that I have (one size smaller than the sinking needle), the point of the needle is not as sharp as I would prefer, which makes it more difficult to poke precisely.
Also the flat gold, while not delicate, cannot be un-stitched more than 2 or 3 times, before it starts peeling or crimping.

I am finally getting to the point where I make progress with the flat gold. And it's looking decent.

Flat gold detail.
According to Kay, the backside of the flat gold (on the underside of the piece) should be flat, and not twisted, and I need to work on that; although that is not a flaw (in my opinion) that requires un-stitching.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Flat gold

I measured the distance between the flat gold; it amounts to 1.2 mm apart. It is very difficult to space out this distance. Some of the difficulties came from the width of the flat gold. I also tried to insert pins at the correct distance but that wasn't workable either. Finally I gave up and just did the best - and with practice, actually it was starting to look ok. (Whew!!)
Initial attempt:

Where I left off today- the fence on the right side looks better than that on the left side:

The frame for Kenny came, so here he is in his new frame.

I also framed Betty. I like Betty better than Kenny.