Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thoughts on April's challenge

I've been wanting to write all week about my thoughts on April's challenge and change in general but this has been one of THOSE weeks. One more day, filled with conference events (I'm organizing, not participating) then I collapse!

First, thanks to those who suggested the little tea lights for my landscape tube. I tried them but they didn't emit nearly enough light. They're very faint. So I need to keep looking. But it was a great thought, thanks!

On to change. It's been interesting to see how many other's relationship to change is similar to mine. It's inevitable but that doesn't mean I have to always like it! I do prefer it when I control it, that's for sure. And I do much better with evolutionary change rather than revolutionary change.

On the other hand, sometimes big changes can breathe fresh air into life and shake things up for the good.

So I know how I feel about change, good and bad, but it's really hard to put concepts like this into images. I thought about a blowing wind with people holding umbrellas and reacting to the wind in various ways—fighting it, sailing along.

But then last night I was reading Stitch magazine and saw an new bullion stitch design by Effie Mitrofanis and it reminded me of her pulled thread book that I’ve found quite inspiring. And from that I think I’ve decided to show the evolution of an embroidery.

The first formal embroidery course I ever took was Hardanger embroidery from Aina Momquist at the Scandinavian Boutique in Homewood, IL, in the very early 80s. Aina is a very traditional embroiderer and her work is exquisite. For her the epitome of beautiful Hardanger, drawn and pulled work is white on white in a fine count with precise stitching. I plan to begin there with a simple drawn thread area in linen, hemstitched with invisible darning in of the cut threads using fine perle cotton.

Personally, I like color and it was hard for me to stick to white so I introduced some color right away in my second piece when studying with Aina (she tolerated it). I love antiques and I've seen many pieces with grayish stitching on ecru and I love this combination. I plan to do a band like this with the same drawn motif.

All in all, I want to do a number of bands adding gradually color and different fibers, inspired by Effie Mitrofanis’s work add button hole stitches, ribbon work, eyelets and other variations around the same simple drawn-thread band.

So, that’s where I am for now. Sorry, no pictures today. Just thoughts.

1 comment:

Deb said...

This sounds like a really great way to approach this month's topic on change. Thank you for including some of your own history of embroidering.