Saturday, 4 April 2015

Samples 2015: Week 13, Herdwick

Machine and hand embroidery on soluble fabric.

First I free machined a network on Aquasol – see below. Then I filled it in with raised chain band using a mix of threads. The tricky thing with hand stitching on soluble is always fastening the ends in - there aren't many hiding places when the fabric is going to vanish!

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 28/03/15:
“James Rebanks, Twitter’s favourite shepherd: ‘Sheep farming is another form of culture, just like Picasso or punk’. Shepherds are disappearing from the countryside — but there’s one in the Lake District who has 40,000 Twitter followers and an acclaimed memoir to his name. Over a day in the fields, James Rebanks explains why he’ll never give up on the life that has sustained his family for 600 years.”

One of Rebanks’ flock of 450 Herdwick sheep – a tough mountain breed synonymous with the Lake District. Photograph: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian
Sample design
I loved the curve and banding of the horn, and wanted to do just that, not any more of the sheep. So making a free standing horn on soluble seemed apt (OK, any excuse for soluble).

Just machine stitching would be too flat, so I decided to use a technique I developed for a cuff (pattern here in my Etsy shop). Lovely nubbly raised chain band into a machined grid.
I’d nearly finished before it dawned on me that it didn’t have to be so… wholemeal! I didn't try to copy the actual shades, but the more I deviate from the source picture the better, so I should’ve used a completely different palette. At this point I wanted another go, imagining zingy rainbow hues. But, the other important lesson I try to learn from this project is to finish and move on, not try again. So wholemeal it is, sorry.  


Iz said...

I like your wholemeal sheep's horn! Lovely use of water soluble

Anonymous said...

That's such a lovely textural piece!