STRIP BY STRIP

Poking my head up from yet another marathon sprint at work here. With promise of another one hard on the heels of the last, I’m probably surfacing just long enough to note limited progress on my sampler and report other news.

First the progress:

clarke-22.jpg clarke-23.jpg

You can see that I’ve completed another row of text, and I’m on to another double running stitch panel. I’m working this one voided too. It’s a mishmash, with the bulk of the elements taken verbatim from the sampler that provided the previous strip. The hops flower(?) and the strange ocarina-like turnip things on the side are direct quotes. The finials on either side of the hops flower were very difficult to copy though, so I took the liberty of substituting bird heads for them. Lots of patterns of this style/era include animals, humans or birds (all or in part) sprouting from vegetation. My treatment of the voided area is however a total flight of fancy. I chose to use half-cross stitch, massed into a field of diagonal lines. I used a diagonal fill on the Do-Right sampler, too:

do-right-14.jpg

Unlike the graph paper like squared fill I on the grapes strip, I haven’t seen historical precedent for the diagonal line treatment. But it’s not totally illogical. If you’ve seen an artifact worked this way, please let me know. Other unusual treatments of the voiding include working the background narrower than the foreground and the direction of my diagonals. I’ve only seen one historical piece worked this way – a late 16th early 17th century panel photographed in Cavallo’s Needlework. I graphed that one out, it’s in TNCM on Plate 74:1 – I worked a bit of it a while back, and am considering doing it again on this piece:

greenemb-done.jpg

Mirroring the diagonals on either side of the central motif is new. I haven’t done this before, and I’ve never seen it done on any other piece. Again – I can’t claim originality, there’s only so many ways to do things in needlework, and it’s a sure bet that the most obvious have been tried before. One last thing I’m planning on doing is NOT filling in the voiding in the background behind the little triangular areas above and below the strange, mutant turnip things. That will make the central hops flower motifs on their lozenges of darker background look a bit like a series of very large beads.

Given my impossible work schedule, the stitching density of both the foreground motif (again worked with two threads of my DMC floss), and the background (worked with one thread), this panel should take me quite a while. After this one comes the rest of my quote. So far I’ve stitched “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indi-” Next comes “-stinguishable from magic. In all probability, the “magic” won’t fit on the next line of text. I’ll deal with that problem when I get there.

Next post – snails in the Antipodes! My dream casket! (Not the kind you’re thinking of…) Stay tuned.


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