Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another book...

Life has been kind of late - despite much work-work and shed painting and gardening, I have managed time in the studio and it has been productive time.  I've had to tidy up the studio once or twice to make room for the next thing I had to get going on, but it has been a joy to make and create and to follow the muse.

I am still preparing the other beautiful pages for stitching into a book; they are ready to go now, the covers are made and I just need to be still and quiet and stitch.  You may recall the focus of that one had been the cut-outs (but other things also happened) and I wanted to create a companion book in a way, that used the cutouts. I suddenly saw cut-outs within cut-outs and drifting lines of stitching.

Despite seeing it in my mind's eye, I needed to do a mock-up to test if the idea would hold and how I would do the details. Because I am not always that practical and don't always immediately grasp the engineering requirements of my ideas, mock-ups are very good for me!

Here is what I looked at, and it gave me enough confidence to begin.

So off I went. I used a Hahnemulle bamboo paper - it is soft to feel, but has great rigidity as well and would hold the folds crisply and be able to stand. You can see I rehearsed stitching the cutouts into the diagonal corners, at the top and bottom, centred; and side to side also centred. The last one showed me that side to side ones would fall over like a spinning wheel! I realised the diagonals would be too hard to place accurately so it was all top and bottom from here on in.

I patiently cut out the bigger cutouts, sequenced my map page cutouts, pricked the holes and stitched all the cut outs in place.  Then for the thread. I liked the soft, light as a feather silk ribbon and some embroidery cotton to match. But when I got around to doing it I just couldn't use the blood red. It was back to white on white neutrals for me!  I also reduced the embroidery thread to one thread rather than two, making it more ethereal.

I (we) decided the lower stitching was too low; and needed to be slightly higher up to balance the page. I also decided that the stitches were too long and somewhat clumsy so went for tinier, closer together ones. I also felt the movement down below needed to be smoother rather than jerky; and that the punched stitching holes were too big; so I used an awl to punch multiple tiny holes instead. I used two threads of embroidery cotton and also made occasional knot 'tuffs'.

I then joined the two parts, folded the accordion and attached it to the covers I had made earlier. I don't usually make the covers first!  They are using handmade paper (by Barry) and a bit of other paper from my cupboard; the ties are the same soft silk ribbon, and then it went under weights overnight.

And here is where we got to...


  1. oooh - I love it very much - can't wait to see it in real life xoxoxo

  2. Hi Fiona - This is just lovely. Ethereal and evocative. I really enjoy your work (and Barry's)

  3. Wow - I'm intrigued by these. Wishing I could look at them right in front of me.

  4. Yes, ethereal is a perfect word for this beautiful book. It has been wonderful to follow you through your preparation and planning. Your posts are very inspirational in this way.

  5. terrific.... I like the delicacy of the threads (and that tiny hint of red..... mmmm fabbo)

  6. Fiona, These are just GORgeous! So delicate and . . . amazing-I think I'm 'speechless'.

  7. Hi all - many thanks for taking the time to comment and give feedback; I truly appreciate it.

    N- yes, it will be available for viewing soon!

    Jo - thank you, I like the lightness of it also

    Abigail - in many ways...

    Annie - one of pluses of the interweb is we get to 'see' things across the miles; but sadly not be with them; which is so much better!

    Carol - thank you as ever; I have realised how much I appreciate understanding others' thoughts and processes; and with this one I actively made decisions to move away from the mock-up and it helped to show the before and after.

    Ronnie - thankyou; the tiny touch of red is unusual for me but works here I think -just not TOO much!

    Trace/Soewnearth - thank you, its a gentle and quietly meditative piece for me.

    JGR - how wonderful that we can be moved by things across the oceans, and gaze at them and feel still and quiet. Thank you!

  8. i do want to see this up close (yet again). there's so much going on i really want to study it. well done.

  9. Gorgeous discribes your BLOG and your creative workings. They are a journey full of living. Thankyou for sharing.

  10. Most ingenious! I'm inspired that you kept at this idea and made it work - I'm sure it was more tricky than you make it sound. And I love the flashes of red thread - beautiful!

  11. Velma - Ill try for a few more close ups for you!

    Thanks for visiting Sharon and for your kind words; I'm glad you found it a nice place to spend time.

    Amanda - most of the time I was lucky and the right decision appeared as I was pondering; a couple of times it was a bit of a toss up but I think they all work now! I like that you said 'flashes' of red - that does describe them well.

  12. F- knowing the story behind this piece the red lines and the maps held in suspension by the sepulchre white is just right - turned out really well. B

  13. Thanks B I'll be telling the story soon....

  14. Wow, what an exquisite piece! I like the suspended layers and threads ... and shadows. Mystical ...

  15. Robyn- the layering of the cutouts fascinates me as well; like going into or thru some mystical place.


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.