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Posts Tagged ‘silk carrier rods’

Embroidery as promised. I not only finished off the faux driftwood piece I stitched at our sea-themed Embroiderers’ Guild March workshop…

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…but also found a framed ceramic plaque for £1 in a charity shop which after a bit of sanding and dry brushing with some pale blue emulsion paint yielded the perfect frame.

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The beaded fish is now nearly a name badge. I just need to add a brooch back, ladder stitch the two sections together and bead it round the edge.

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On Saturday it was our April Scunthorpe Embroiderers’ Guild meeting and an opportunity to revisit the embroidery we produced in March after Mary’s workshop. It was lovely to see such a variety of outcomes.

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This was followed by a fascinating talk by Alice Fox, learning about her creative journey and focusing on her ‘Findings’ body of work. Anyone who beach and pavement combs and turns the oddments she finds into works of art is a woman after my own heart. We had a workshop booked with her on the Sunday but I’m going to blog about that separately.

I’ve also been embroidering more pieces of silk carrier rod to inlay into upcycled jewellery – two lockets and a pendant. The pendant was first: vibrant green carrier rod with a crimson ribbon embroidery rose circled by five little leaf stitch leaves.

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This went beautifully with a stamped filigree brass frame to become June Rose.

Then I moved onto the smaller of two gold tone lockets. I used a wintry blue carrier rod and embroidered it with tiny snowflakes in two weights of silk thread. 20180426_114304_HDR.jpg

It really is very small – the central oval is about 2cm by 1.5cm and the finest thread is thinner than normal sewing cotton. The snowflakes aren’t quite well stitched as I wanted, but embroidering something that intricate freehand was quite a challenge.

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Snowflakes is available here.

For the second locket I returned to a familiar design, an undersea landscape of waving feather stitch fronds of coral or seaweed and tiny nuggets of sea glass.

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I chose a variegated pink and turquoise thread as a starting point and teamed it with turquoise/blue carrier rod, three nuggets of multi-coloured Seaham sea glass and a couple of darker pink threads.

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The Coral Garden locket is quite a bit bigger than the Snowflakes locket at about 4 by 4.5cm. I really like the colour combination. I wouldn’t have necessarily put the two colours together but they worked so well in the variegated thread.

I really love stitching these little vignettes and using them to make bits of junk jewellery into things of beauty again.

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They started as part of a five piece graduated set of wedge shaped pendants. The central sections had been filled with glittery golden sticky backed plastic – horrible but easily removed to give a blank space full of possibilities.

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As you can see from the above photo, I already had one idea brewing – to use some of the scraps of fabulous yew wood veneer I scored from my Dad’s workshop a while ago. I liked the look of the wood against the gold coloured edging, but felt that to do all of them the same would be too much and just one wouldn’t showcase the wood enough. So I decided to make a trio of pendants, using the two smallest and one of the medium sized sections.

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I cut the veneer to shape and carefully finished the pieces with clear Danish oil and micro-crystalline wax before insetting them into the pendants, adding a gold plated chain and listing them here in my Etsy shop

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That left the largest and one of the medium sized sections for something different. I really enjoyed working with ironed out silk carrier rods recently and I had just found three bags of them I didn’t know I had (hangs head in shame…) in my favourite colours – blue, green and turquoise – so that was the next design sorted. I cut a piece of the green to fit the largest section and started to create a little garden corner. Straight stitch stems and french knot flowers in various weights of silk thread.

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Then an overhanging branch in stem stitch…

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…with lazy daisy stitch leaves…

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…set into the pendant which can be found here.

A piece of mottled blue/turquoise carrier rod was a good start for a sea themed pendant. I added feather stitch in gold silk thread and three tiny nuggets of rare yellow sea glass.

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They were stitched down with fine silk thread and I added another swirl of feather stitch to link them.

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I’ve called this one ‘Sunlit Zone’ and listed it here.

Stitching on the ironed out silk carrier rods is lovely. They are firm, like a heavy paper, but much more forgiving if you put the needle through in the wrong place. Pelmet vilene is great too but the colour and sheen of the silk is just very special. I think they have loads more potential in my jewellery work so this won’t be the last you see of them!

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This week it was bitterly cold but bright – perfect for sanding the drawers of my ’60s teak chest of drawers outside.

Starting point: tired, faded, stained.

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Simply sanded as close as I could get to the handles. The handles are amazing. Most furniture has at least one loose handle. Not this one. Every single handle is rock solid, glued, screwed or whatever, but it’s a good job I love the original handles because they were NOT coming off…

20171208_104022_HDR.jpgThen laborious sanding down by hand to get to this:

20171208_105617_HDR.jpgThree more to go before the Danish Oil could work its magic. And what magic! I was prepared for it this time but it still blew me away.

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20171208_144549_HDR.jpgThree coats of Danish Oil and a thorough polishing with beeswax later, it was transformed from this: 20171126_105438_HDRTo this:

20171210_104643_HDR.jpgIt’s now in my bedroom filled with Christmas presents and fabric. I absolutely love it! :o)

I’ve also had a bit of a metalwork session. I loved the effect of the printed silk carrier rod behind the rescued gold tone bib, so I hunted out some of the brass I impressed when I did my silversmithing course several years ago…

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…and started to play.  This is going to be a pendant.

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And this, a brooch.

DSCN7587.JPGI love cutting fiddly shapes with the piercing saw, letting it and the texture of the metal dictate where it goes and making these pieces has been a joy. I have an oval pendant on the way too. More photos to come.

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Last year at Embroiderers’ Guild we had an amazing full day workshop with Chris Gray which started off with printing from her mind-blowing collection of printing blocks. I only had a handful of bits of fabric and loved the printing so much that I ended up printing on everything I could find in my bags, including three silk carrier rods I’d ironed flat.

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I love silk carrier rods, but like so many things, they disappear into drawers and boxes knowing that the chance that I might find something to do with them is slim to none.

However… I’ve been upcycling jewellery again and after trialling a few ideas for how to enhance this rather naff goldtone geometric bib section,  I came across the printed carrier rods and that turquoise one was perfect.

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The nature of the carrier rod means that it doesn’t fray and I could simply stick it into the back of the triangle.

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Turquoise is a complete nightmare to match colourwise because of the proportions of green and blue, but the turquoise nugget beads were a perfect match and some gold tone chain finished it all off nicely. It is always such a pleasant surprise when things work out smoothly and I have listed it here.

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On a roll, I came across two odd earrings. This…

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…now equal this:

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I have been embroidering as well, but it’s unfortunately under wraps until December.

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I knew I wanted to turn the patterned oxidised copper piece into a brooch with some sort of fabric/threads/textiles included and over the next few days I turned over all sorts of ideas in my head. The fabric needed to be somehow quite stiff to support the metal and I went through all sorts of options with vilene and folded calico but nothing seemed to click. 

At the weekend I was turning out a shelf in a cupboard where I keep most of my textile stuff and I found a load of silk carrier rods in various colours. I ironed one flat and knew I’d found the perfect medium to back the copper plaque – stiff, yet with that wonderful silk sheen.  

Oxidised copper brooch 1

I chose a carrier rod in faded shades of rose and peach and in trying to manipulate it, accidentally pulled one end away, leaving that lovely fluffy effect which I decided to keep.

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I wanted to stitch the copper to the silk but in a way that wouldn’t need holes in the metal and also wouldn’t obscure the lovely pattern. Initially I thought about the type of stitch used to attach shishas, but obviously the copper wasn’t round and the shisha stitch would hide too much.

So I came up with the idea of curve stitching, which uses straight stitches to create a curve. Decorative but functional and using Gutermann metallic machine thread, just enough to hold the corners of the copper to the silk.

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It looks quite flimsy, but the thread is very stiff and pulled very tight and the little nets it creates hold the copper very securely.

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To finish, a brooch back sewn onto a piece of cream kid leather and then stitched to the silk.

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As well as oxidisation, we also had a go at reticulation, which is heating the surface of a piece of metal (in this case brass) to boiling point so it bubbles and waves and produces a fabulous texture. It was rather easier said than done and by the end of the evening I had only managed this:

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You can see the idea I was aiming for on the edges but it melted on one side and some of it stayed unchanged and it really was a disappointment. Until I turned it up the other way…

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…and it made me think of mountains and rivers and plains. So the next week I carefully took a hacksaw to the line where the ‘mountains’ meet the ‘plain’ and made myself a river.

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The silk carrier rod gave a good idea of the colour effect I wanted, but I also wanted a fringed bottom so a ‘waterfall’ of threads could come out of the mouth of the river and fall off the bottom of the piece.

So, wonderful shot silk dupion encasing a piece of pelmet vilene for strength.

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I frayed it into a fringe at the bottom and am using the metallic Gutermann thread again to attach the brass to the silk. The curve stitching only works on perpendicular sides so I’m simply putting threads across on the right to hold it down while I see if I can come up with anything better.

This one is going to be a pendant, with a piece of brass tube enclosing the top edge of the silk/Vilene sandwich. It reminds me of the kingdom of Eregion, just east of the Misty Mountains on Tolkien’s maps of Middle Earth so I’m calling it the Eregion pendant.

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