Progress on Shell Box

Published on 2nd August 2014

Time for an update on the Shell Box design.  I got quite a long way with this until it came to a grinding holt in the heat last couple of weeks. You may notice that I've changed the copyright text on the photos. Following the announcement last week of the new Japanese Embroidery Academy I can tell you that this piece is one of our Module designs. It it an alternative to the Kokeshi Sisters.

Japanese embroidery, shell box

This is as far as I'd got by my last post, since then I've filled in the rest of the box and lid. (the little Hello Kitty magnet was made by one of my fellow collaborators on TFE - she's made more which are in the shop, no Hello Kitties though I'm afraid)

Japanese embroidery, shell box lid

The lid has a twisted foundation with shippo. I used the top edges of the box to get the angles for the shippo grid.  It makes it slightly off square but I like that. Previously when I've done shippo I embroidered over the shippo shapes and then put in holding in the middle sections. This time I put in the holding in the middle first, it worked much better doing it this way. It made the foundation much more stable when stitching over the shippo.

Japanese embroidery, shell box shippo

I used a random selection of colours but made sure I included some the the special new threads. The sides need something extra, I've got a couple of ideas but am still thinking about this.

Japanese Embroidery, superimposed design

I completed the foundations on the box all in flat silk and included a kodaiakin metallic in the purple foundation. Then  superimposed the pine tree.

Japanese embroidery, pine tree

Self padding

I wanted the pines to be plump but not too much so rather than using self padding I've padded using flat silk and then twisted silk for the final layer. This gave it enough of a lift to work.

Japanese embroidery - pine detail

The problem with digital photography is that it picks up details even the eye doesn't see. I've done the holding on the pines here and looks very obvious but it's not in real life.

I'm still struggling with this shell. It got completed, taken out, and worked in a different way, but I still don't like it. It's not matching what is in my head! So back to the drawing board on this one.  More updates soon.

Japanese embroidery, shell

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