Posted in Jewellery, Ribbon Embroidery, tagged beach glass, brass, coin, decimal half penny, doming block, engraving, etsy shop, experimenting, hammered brass, hammered texture, pendant, perle, reticulation, ribbon embroidery, ribbon roses, rose leaf, sea glass, silk, text, uncial script, woven spiders' web stitch on 12/02/2017|
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It is high time I started to practise my metal-working skills again so I decided to start small, cutting out a rose leaf shape from sheet brass and piercing it with holes before I textured it with the hammer.
Then I used some green perle and using the holes, put in the foundation stitches for a woven spider’s web which I worked in a gorgeous variegated pink and green silk ribbon.
It worked out perfectly so I had a green centre shading out to the deep pink edge. I neatened it up with a piece of pink kid leather over the back and added a jump ring to turn it into a sweet little mixed media pendant.
One of my Christmas presents was a Dremel engraver so I had a bit of a play with that, first using one of the included stencils to add a rustic star shape to a piece of sea glass which I then turned into a pendant.
Then I moved on to a piece of reticulated brass which I created on the silversmithing course I took in Sheffield a few years ago. I had deliberately worked the reticulation from either end of the piece of brass in order to leave a smooth bridge between them for some text. Finally, I had the tool to add the lettering!
I used uncial script and the H of ‘haven’ looks a bit like an R, unfortunately, but I really like the way the engraver worked on the brass.
I turned this into yet another pendant and gave it a lovely vintage sari silk strip ribbon to hang from in crimson and gold.
My other Christmas present thanks to some vouchers was a doming set and I was dying to have a go at doming some old coins that I’d accumulated. Tiny bronze British decimal half pennies seemed to work best and I combined one that I’d hammered into a hemisphere with a ‘cornflake’ of reticulated brass that I’d also domed. I drilled them both through the middle and chose an odd stud earring with purple diamantes like stamens of a flower to connect them together.
I’ve got a piece of fantastically patterned gilding metal to which I hope to attach the ‘flower’ which I can then turn into a brooch. It’s been good to play with metal again!
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It’s all been a bit monochrome with the pebble for a while so I thought I’d share a recently finished fragment.
My fragments are fabric doodles, scraps of thread and cloth which I keep in my travelling sewing kit and put together to play about with when I’m out and about. This one is 3 and a half inches by just over 2 inches.
The background is offcuts of hand dyed silk left over from my ribbon rose thimblekeep arranged on a scrap of calico with a die-cut fabric heart in the centre.
I love the almost indecipherable fragment of text on it.
The whole thing is densely stitched in regular rows of running stitch like kantha work with Stef Francis stranded silks – again leftovers from the ribbon rose thimblekeep.
The heart was blanket stitched down and then several rows of running stitch worked to echo its outline.
When I ran out of room going round, I changed direction and sent the running stitches in long gentle curves from the heart towards the edge of the fabric.
The stitching completely alters the feel of the fabric, partly hiding it; partly enhancing it.
I love the way such simple stitching becomes alchemy, binding thread and fabric into something rich and strange.
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It’s been really busy with the show and then playing catch up to all the things that have to be put aside to give that level of commitment to a week long production but I hopefully should soon have some pictures of my new project.
In the meantime, this is a small piece I made last year from a long scrap of rusted old cotton sheet, some medical gauze, a piece of vintage ribbon and off cut of hand dyed cotton.
“Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future.” T.S. Eliot: The Four Quartets.
Ripped strips of cotton give a wonderfully soft frayed edge.
Strips of very open medical gauze are layered under the ribbon. Rows of running stitch over the gauze keeps it anchored to the rusted cotton – in places.
Straight stitches in fantastic variegated metallic Madeira thread hold down the ribbon. Since both sides are accessible it needs to look neat on the back too.
Kantha stitched end ‘tag’. Also reversible.
I love embroidering text and The Four Quartets is one of my favourite poems.
It’s designed to be pulled out and read like a scroll. I’m still looking for the right thing to wind it onto – a chunky piece of driftwood perhaps or an antique wooden cotton reel or a turned wooden spindle.
I’ll know it when I see it.
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