I’m still working on my spiral trellis stitch sampler but slowly, because I want to take photographs of the details. I never thought i would enjoy working stumwork – style that much.
Here are some things I learned:
* If you are using an S-plyed thread, such as regular pearl cotton, work clockwise. With a z-plyed thread, such as many rayons and silks, you should probably work counterclockwise. This way, the thread won’t coil up so much.
* You can build all kinds of shapes with this stitch. I think of it as a process more like crochet or makrame than like normal embroidery
* It is good to take a thread of smaller gauge for the top rows if possible, that saves you some decreasing
* when filling forms much longer than wide just decrease at the short ends, bends or corners, where it makes sense to shape the thing, continue until the two sides meet at the top, then stuff and sew the slit shut.
* when doing big shapes, you can decrease with different frequency at different parts of the form to make it irregular rather than round.
Here I try to show how I filled a triangular form: I always decreased at the corners. I decreased quickly to keep it kind of flat. That made for a good shape and little trouble decreasing, but it shows in the pattern. I don’t really know how to avoid that.
This new challenge turns out to be hard. First month grids, next month a 3d stitch, now assisi embroidery. But what’s hard about that? for me, because it is ultimately about positive and negative space, black and white and such. I never was really good with this. Remember my recent linocut?
When researching linocut recently I stumbled over the concept of notan. This is japanese and means light-dark. It means a harmonious balance between light and dark areas in a work of art or design. It is especially important in a medium of woodcut or linocut, because if it’s not a colour print light and dark becomes the main focus of the design. I guess the same goes for assisi work. Apparently, good notan can improve any work of art or design. Strange that I never even heard about this before, and I did take painting lessons. Here are two good links: article about notan at emptyeasel, which also leads to other articles about notan there, and an article about notan by Sharon Himes.
Now here are my own practical efforts, although I didn’t really get anywhere with them. After This experience, I admire Sharon’s work even more. Right now I’m really at a loss about how to design that way.
Update: The picture I used as inspiration is here. Thanks to that kind blogger, who allowed me to use it.
a flower bulb – black copic marker, black and white crayon pencil on khaki ingres paper. Just a quick sketch to figure out where I want to go with my next design.
The same – white crayon pencil on dark blue ingres paper. More like a classical chiaroscuro drawing.
A copic marker doodle done while procarstinating about doing some more bulb sketches- I’m sure I couldn’t do something like this if the topic was black and white line drawing or somesuch.
The weather is strange here. The last snow has not jet completely melted here. Last year mid march the blackbirds were already feeding their first brood (not normal either lol), but spring is definitely struggling to come.
I did not only take photographs and began to clean up the garden, I also worked on my rock pool embroidery a bit, including a little design change.
After some failed attempts I figured out how to do spiral trellis stitch. My idea now is to stitch a rock pool – with actually more rocks than colourful sea life, like I remember them to be at the mediterranean sea. The rocks are stuffed spiral trellis stitch.
A closeup of the rocks
So I finally got round to printing my linocut plate and I’m not happy. It lacks balance and rhythm imho, and the flowers are too small and could have used some internal structure. I guess there’s more to printing than just doing it the way I did as a child.
I’ll have to research black and white graphics before trying this again.