A completed piece, progress, and events
It was back to work this week after the long weekend. I enjoyed 3 days of embroidery completing one design, continuing another and framing up two more. In the spirit of trying to blog more this year here is a bit of an update. I'm hoping this year will be much more productive than the last two and it is already heading that way. I've exhibited at an exhibition in Manchester, at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Birmingham already and there are three more events in June and July. After which I think I'll need to lie down in a darkened room for a week!
Saturday 25 June 2022 - Art All Dayer: Summer Edition in Manchester
Saturday 2 July 2022 - Japan Day NW in Liverpool
Saturday 16 July 2022 - Japan Fest by Otaku World in Derby
If you can make it to any of the events please come and say hello.
Back to embroidery updates, the cord design is finished. Happy dance. I completed the cords on this a couple of weeks ago so just had the outlines to finish. This whole design has been a bit of an experiment, from the limited colour palette, the contrast of fabric and design, to padding and outlining of the cords. Given this I decided to try something a bit different with the ends of the cords as well. Generally in traditional Japanese embroidery the ends of cords either go off the edge of the design, so you don't see them, or they are faded out. On this I decided to taper the cords at the ends and incorporate the #4 metallic used for outlines into the cord ends.
I tapered the cord ends into a small curl and then carried the #4 metallic on the inside of the curve right to the end of the stitched line and beyond to make an inward spiralling circle. The metallic on the outside of the curve was then carried to the end and round the circle where it was sunk.
It's not perfect, but I really liked how this worked and I'll definitely use it again. I feel as these little roundels are the start of the cord rather than the end and that the cord is growing from these points.
This design took much longer than I thought it would, almost 200 hours, with having to make various changes and experiment during the work, but I've very much enjoyed it and have learned a lot. Cords are something I really enjoy stitching and I have a lot of reference material for these kinds of designs, so I'm sure there will be more to come in the future.
The wisteria design has come out of hibernation and I'm making progress. There isn't much to say on this piece except "oh look another wisteria flower".
The wisteria design is such a large piece, almost a metre long, that I've framed up two more small pieces to act as a buffer for when I've had enough. One of these is using up some of the many pieces of kimono silk which are not suitable for my own or Japanese Embroidery Academy designs as it contains a large patterned section. Quite often these are made into frame covers but since I really don't need any more frame covers I thought I would use one of the existing designs as an embroidery design. Of course, this is not a new idea since embroidery is often added to dyed kimono to a greater or lesser extent, so I am continuing the tradition. I've sorted through my threads and picked out colours that matched the dye and it's ready to go. I've chosen JEC colours for this piece since their colour scheme matches the muted colours of the silk. I might tweak them once I get started to add some brighter colours, we'll see.
The second design framed up is one JEA offered ages ago as a free design. It's from a very old design book and is a circle of peonies and plums. It'll be another experiment in colour as I'm planning to use only one colour, or maybe a couple of shades, for the embroidery. Updates to follow.