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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Another Icon Project

Before I boarded my plane for the UK in late May, I prepared piece of fabric for a second entry in the Embroiderers' Guild of SA Icons Exhibition for SALA - the annual South Australian Living Arts Festival in August. My fabric,is another piece from the Embroiderers' Guild - the fabric on which the Guild's overdyed threads are dried. This piece is darker than the first one I used and I was keen to work with it.

Again, I layered it with polyester wadding and calico. I traced on to it a different photo of Julia Gillard and printed off the head onto fabric

 I then gathered a range of threads that blended and contrasted with the fabric. This was the extent of my preparation before I left home.
While away I thought about what to do with this piece. I loved doing the little figures on the last one, but wondered whether doing another similar one was the way to go. After reading some commentary on Julia Gillard's recently published book, I came up with the idea of banners bearing quotes, from her book, but also from earlier speeches and interviews. I thought this could work.

Once I had finished my two bag projects and have put away my two Scottish Tour pieces for want of suitable equipment while travelling, I got out the prepared icons fabric and began work on it.

I began by tacking, then herringbone-stitching the headpiece in place. It needed a little bit of stuffing, which I didn't have with me, so I left an edge open. I began stitching in some additional hair but stopped until I had access to stuffing.



I then embroidered over the printed jacket - but didn't take the stitching all the way. I thought it would be interesting to leave some of the dyed fabric - hinting at the transition from the corporate PM to a citizen who comments and speaks her mind.
This is as far as I got while away.

I did, however, discuss the project with Pat Thomson in Nottingham. I was finding this particular piece of cloth rather tough to stitch and Pat suggested appliquéing the banners on - a brilliant idea which I have adopted.

Since arriving home I have tried out various fabrics and threads for the banners, settling on some gold Dupion silk - in the spirit of icons. For the words I chose variegated thread that echoes the fabric. I created paper templates for the banners, traced them on to the Dupion, machine stitched around them to get an outline. 
Over the last couple of days I have been stitching words and have fixed the banners in place ready for appliquéing.
I used split stitch on the words.
As you can see it is possible to read, but requires a hard look.
Photographing them helps to see the problems. The word 'easier' below, for example, needs a couple of extra stitches.
I am now in the process of appliquéing the edges of the banners using a detached wheat-ear stitch.
I'm hoping to create the sense of feathers, so the banners take of an echo of wings, again, in the icon tradition.

Yesterday I called at the Guild office and picked up an entry for the Exhibition. It is being hung on 29 July, so I have two weeks to finish it.

Originally I thought I'd embroider little figures holding the banners but I've revised that. Another idea is forming - more on that next time.

4 comments:

Susan Mann said...

I love it Jillian. Can't wait to see the final product. All the best with the entry and getting it finished.

margaret said...

once again you have been so creative, this is going to be a wonderful piece when completed
I missed that you were coming to the UK maybe next time we will meet

SuperMomNoCape said...

What a creative piece! I love all the quotes you are adding.

I host a weekly Stitchery Link Party for all things hand embroidered and I would love to have you come link up this post (or one of your other embroidery posts.) http://www.supermomnocape.com/2015/07/20/vintage-embroidery-monday-stitchery-link-party-15/

I do hope that you'll come join the fun!

JennyPennyPoppy said...

Wow - this is a great looking piece that you aahve created and stitched! Really good quotes too.