Tuesday, 15 October 2013

My blog is moving.....


Hanging By A Thread's blog is moving!!! Be sure to follow my latest work and escapades here on wordpress....

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Ridiculously Tiny Goldwork Couching

Well, as the days start getting shorter, it's the time to make the most of all that natural daylight we've got left. Especially when I'm taking my goldwork or nue to new and somewhat ridiculous levels. As I blogged previously, I drew out the Budweiser beer label to start couching, only to find that two strands held together proved too thick. To get the detail I wanted, the only way was to re-commence the embroidery using ONE starnd of the red metallic thread to couch over at a time.

Considering that the red metallic thread is less than a mm wide, this took a LOT of patience. One inch high has 29 parallell rows. Yes, 29 rows covered vastly by tiny white couching stitches. Keep your hands clean (white's a pain to work with on such a scale as this) and stop every so often to put your eyes back in their sockets.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Whitework Gone Wierd #2

Some more experiments subverting the traditional technique of whitework and doing it in my own way. I have a whole pin-board of these samples just waiting for 'something more' to happen with. Maybe integrate them into something to wear...

Whitework shouldn't just be about pretty cotton tablecloths and motifs worked into the edge of hankies. Surely it's time for something new?
White trailing experiments on cotton organdie, cotton a broder thread. Yes, I've perfected the technical technique, but this is... well, a bit boring.....

White PVC with organdie inserts (left) and black + white organdie combined with trailing and eyelets added over the top (right).

I like the addition of the black in the right hand one - personally, I really don't like plain white (I painted my bedroom black as a teenager) and it's an interesting contrast. As for the PVC, well, if I'm going to wear white it's going to be PVC.

White PVC wedding dress, anyone? Exquisitely embroidered with surface detailing, trailing and cutwork eyelets, of course....

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Budweiser WIP: some reconsiderations

Another alcohol bottle label has been started, but alas, I have been forced to stop and reconsider this particular piece. The label is 'Budweiser' beer, and began well as usual: the original design traced out onto fabric, ready for the lines of metal thread to be couched over.

Now, the red metallic thread I'm using is exceptionally thin (much more so than the gold and silver passing I usually couch over.) So, I thought I could 'get away' with using two strands held down together. The result is below - yes, it works, and the logo is still legible: however, I'm just not happy about the (lack of) detail achieved. The solution would be to enlarge the logo, but as the labels must remain their original size in order to be glued back onto the bottles at a later stage, this isn't an option.
My decision? To start the entire thing again - this time using only one strand per line - hopefully the smoothness in the curves of the lettering will justify the extra time!

The very lowest two rows were done in this way, with only one strand, to prove my point to myself that it did indeed look far better.

Monday, 5 August 2013

'Bulmer's' cider logo completed

Actual size of the real label ( I plan to cut 'em out and glue 'em back onto their original bottles)
After far too long languishing unfinished in my studio, it was time to crack on and get this next goldwork illustration completed. My personal life has faced some setbacks and as such, my stitch found itself a little neglected (try having the entire contents of your bag / car stolen and the time you don't spend on the phone to the police is definitely not a mindset I can calmly sit and stitch with.)

However, that episode behind me, a renewed determination to complete this 'alcohol labels' collection has set in. The goldwork 'or nue' technique is definitely my favourite at the moment, and as such, want to use it as much as possible.

Here's the original for those of you who aren't familiar with Bulmer's cider:

As for my subtle re-wording, well, I find it mildly amusing. If I can't laugh at it, what can I do? 

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A Pirate's Life For Me

Ahoy there..... a little unusual for me, to be mentioning the work of other artists here, but here's someone so amazing I couldn't pass by the oportunity to share his work.

Last weekend was Hastings Pirate Weekend on the south coast of England (last year they gained the Guinness world Record for most Pirates in a single location.) Obviously, this needed attending, in suitable swashbuckling attire (oh, how I do like to dress the part!) What can I say ... thousands of Pirates, several parrots, and a LOT of rum. Which is all gone now (''why is the rum gone??'') For once, this was a day NOT to engage with embroidery...

You get the picture. (The suitcase had rum reinforcements in. As for the cat-O-nine tails, well, we won't detail that here.....) But what I really want to show you is the artwork of 'The Roving Artist', aka Charles Burns, who was cutting out silhouette portraits by eye alone. Basically, we stood there in profile and in a matter of minutes he had snipped his way through what looked like an indeterminable tangle of paper to produce a perfectly proportioned full-scale likeness. I was amazed......

Friday, 5 July 2013

Don't play with your food

Alphabetti spaghetti. Mindless procrastination? Or subtle integration of new lettering into my illustration? I don't know. Either way, 'edible art' is definitely a new one for me.