I have a real interest in text going on at the moment. If you look back to my earlier experiments in lettering (see see earlier post) you will recall I was especially interested in capturing the delicacy and detail of letters through goldwork couching and the technique of or nue.
Current experimentation follows in this train of thought, since I find myself captivated by logos in particular. The choice of font is important: in order for me to want to stitch it, it has to be at least a certain thickness (bold, thick lettering preferable over spindly characters) and – even better – a ‘drop shadow’ behind it, which adds another challenge to execute in stitch. Once you start looking around you can’t help but notice just how many signs and labels actually do have this 3D-effect to their lettering. But I digress.
To start with, here’s the Krispy Kreme doughnut logo: the challenge here – can I keep it at this relatively small scale, and still fit in enough detail to make the letters ‘flow’ without looking square-edged and step-like? (remember that each row’s height is dictated by the width of the silver thread you’re couching over, meaning that subtle curves are limited. Over a block ten rows deep, for instance, you can only achieve ten gradations of where you place the edge of the letter.) I think I succeeded.
The next phase of this will be to hem the edges and integrate this logo into part of a larger piece of work (a chunk of fabric worked separately and re-applied like this is called a slip.) The bigger piece shall depict a doughnut or something equally appropriate, possibly worked in Berlin wool-work velvet stitch, and this logo could feature on the napkin it’s placed on. I’m not quite decided yet.
Secondly, (9x9.5cm – the actual size on the side of the can)
The ever-recognisable Coca-Cola logo. I’m not as pleased with this one: since my red couching thread was considerably thinner than the above silver, I decided to use it two rows at a time (this would save me half the time not having to work each row individually, a luxury I couldn’t really afford if I wanted to work the entire area of the sample.) Traditionally, goldwork couching was usually done this way, holding down two strands at once to couch over: personally, I’ve always thought this just limits the scope for detail. It’s true that if I had worked one strand at a time, the curves of the letters would flow a lot smoother: but still, it’s passable.
Although the fabric is obviously stiffened by the application of all the metallic thread, it’s still fairly pliable: this logo could then be applied over a raised or padded background, moving something currently flat into 3D – an area I am very eager to explore. It’s time for or nue to start breaking some boundaries.