Friday, August 29, 2014

Faded Treasures

Got started on Faded Treasure (or Antique Mirrors). Initially I was disappointed that it did not come in the mottled red-brown fabric of the photo. Now I think the nishijin mottled black gold is prettier, although it is challenging since the fabric is unforgiving of mistakes, and the outline was hard to see because of the reflection. It got better after a while. So far the weft foundation was not too bad. I will have lots of practice with superposition and cords; I did not do either technique well in the earlier phases.
All the motifs will be covered up once the foundation is in place - and then they need to be transferred back on top of the foundation.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blue Flower Metal Embroidery Done

I made a few changes to the piece, most prominent among them the blue bud at the top, removal of the extra leaf, and replacing the edging with gold twist instead of blue silk. There are other minor changes, such as the center of the flower. I think I like it better this way (apologies to Ms Kinsey), and it's a good thing I am not sending it in for evaluation.

The most difficult part was the rough purl, used in the pea-pod shaped leaf. I had to pick them up very carefully with the pads of my fingers, any extra pressure such as with my finger nails, and they crimp. I hope I never have to work with these again!

I think a square gold metal frame with be appropriate for this piece.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Blue Circle Metal Embroidery

I decided I like the flower center as is. It turns out to be quite a nice piece, especially with the gold twist in place, on the inside of the pearl purl. I think I'll keep working on it.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blue Flower Silk and Metal Embroidery

While waiting for my next JE class next month, when I'll start on (deep breath) Antique Mirrors, I decided to work on a piece I got about 5 years ago as part of a GCC course -  "Beginning" silk and metal class. I was not very interested initially, and didn't review the contents in detail until now. It came with a nice heavy  piece of silk, already edge-hemmed and carefully packed. The instructions were well written, with a lot of information on the various silks and metals, history and their usage. I made some minor modifications, changing a leaf to a bud (which I'm very fond of), and using JE techniques in places. I used my Pilot frixion pen to draw the design on the fabric. Surprise! This is the first fabric I've encountered that the tracing remains quite obvious even when heat erased! I will have to keep this in mind.
The blue flat silk thread came from Japan, but felt slightly different than the silk from JEC- maybe sturdier and doesn't snag as much - but seems to be less shiny. Instead of using 6 strands of flat silk per the instructions, I used 3 strands and stitched them very close together; I also changed the angle of the stitching on the petals.

The motifs are small, making them quite difficult to do. I don't agree that this is a beginner's piece. This will be a (hopefully enjoyable) challenge.

The rough purl flower center was hard to do. A few of the spirals on the left side were ok, but the rest are not good. I will sit on it for a while, and see if I feel like re-doing them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

EGA Master Craftsman Color

My Step 1 projects came back and I got a "provisional pass", which requires a re-submission before Step 2 can be judged. The piece that did not pass is the black-and-white piece with the red raft. The judge pointed out that this piece is a complementary color scheme (red-green), and not a non-traditional color scheme. I briefly considered re-designing both pieces, using geometric designs so I can have a freer rein on the colors. Then I found out that the easiest fix would be to replace the red raft (sigh!). This will then be a modification of a traditional triad color scheme (green-purple-orange) with only 2 colors (green and purple), and thus fulfills the requirement for this step. I was able to unstitch the red raft without affecting the stitches around it (except for the doll hair oar). I replaced it with the same purple hue I used in the first piece (also a requirement that I did not fulfill). It looks really drab now - that must be why this is not a traditional color scheme!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Camellia Done!

I will inspect it later and then do the paste and steaming. It turns out to be a nice piece.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Camellia Branches done

The branches look quite realistic, using just twisted silk.

Next are the gold outline leaves and then it is done!

Friday, August 1, 2014

More Camellia Leaves

I went and studied my camellia plant. The top of the leaf is different in color than the bottom, and I think that's what the piece is supposed to show - the full leaves are the top view, and the half leaves are the bottom. Except in the photo from JEC one of the full leaves are not done that way, and unfortunately I followed that before I figured it out; not going to change it now, as the end is in sight..