This stitchery exercise is from a small detail of lichen on wall 1 where I endeavoured to show the way the colours blended into each other. Every stitch was made using two threads in the needle to achieve a subtle blend of colour, but I feel the thinner threads did not work as well, or maybe I should have used the smaller holed canvas.
I found the paper weaving worked well to develop an impression of wall 2 and the way the stones interacted with each other.
I then worked on my first resoved sample. I wanted to develop my previous experiment, this time laying the lutradur onto canvas so that when I melted it away areas of the canvas would be exposed ready for hand stitching. I used maching stitching on the top layer of lutradur, trying to echo all the little spots of colour on the old stones.
My second resolved sample is baed on a close-up of the lichen on wall one:
For this I used a piece of black felt on which is layed a piece of bondaweb painted blue to soften the black. I used the embelishing machine to felt down pieces of scrim and wool fibre to give both colour and texture. Iused machine stitching for the dark edging in the lichen, finishing with hand stitching.
I am happy with this interpretation of the wall, especially as this is one of the ways in which I like to work.
The first observation of wall 1 is taken from the different coloured textures as this is one large block of stone, but I thought the differences showed up as shapes in their own right. I used some paper I had made ages ago which I thought nicely reflected the textures.
This is the second wall where each shape is a seperate stone. This is using black cartridge paper.
This is my first attempt at stitching on canvas. It is quite a large hole canvas which I happened to have – subsequent pieces are on 10 holes to the inch. All the threads worked well enough except for the strip of cotton fabric which kept breaking. Thin threads obviously give a more open structure and show the canvas squares underneath, while thicker ones give a more blocky effect. Below is my second attempt and an attempt to think how I might translate the rubbing into stitch. The fairly thick greyish wool I used first for the heavier marks doesn’t work at all and looks too messy. The most successful piece is the one bttom left. I realise it is really difficult to cover every hole of the canvas and feel quite daunted by it.
The rubbing below is a closeup of the piece I want to use. It looks complex and I realised I couldn’t just go straight into trying to stitch the whole piece. I needed a plan of action so to speak and I thought a tracing would give a more linear idea of how I could work the stitches.
Then I thought I would do something totally different and more abstract as a change and to see how it turned out. The base is vilene painted ochre/orange, covered with lutradur painted grey with patches of painted bondaweb and both machine and hand stitches, with the edges then melted. I am not totally satisfies with it, particularly the machine stitching, so I’m sure I will have another attempt.
We spent a week in a gite in the Charente area of France. This was part of an old farm complex where there was an abundance of beautiful old walls.
I loved the variation of colours in this piece of stone work – weather worn with different growths of lichens and mosses.
This close up shows the area I thought the most interesting.
In this first sketch I was perhaps trying for too much detail, whereas in the second one below I was attempting to reproduce just the shapes and colours. I actually did the first sketch for each wall first before going back for a second attempt on both.
This rubbing with a black wax crayon is of the close-up section.
I was then attracted to the wall on the other side of the door. This was equally weathered but much more subtle in colour and I think will be the piece I work on.
Now back home, I’m looking forward to working on the next part of the project.