Lord Ganesh is a beloved and hard-working Deity here in India. His image is omnipresent. Aside from gracing his many temples, Lord Ganesh rides on dashboards all over the nation, protecting almost every car, truck, and bus. He wards the door of most homes; and blesses many shops, schools and public buildings. His image has been rendered in just about every medium, from exquisite woodcarving to molded pink plastic. He has been sculpted, printed, woven, painted, and stitched. Hmm. Stitched.
So of course, I had to work my own.
I tried to draw up my own freehand design, but decided in the long run that it would be easier to use an established image. That way I couldn’t get the iconography wrong. I found a kids’ coloring book page via Google. Its simple shapes were particularly suited to inhabited blackwork – the traditional form with heavy outlines enclosing counted thread fillings. I sized the design for some cloth I had on hand, and printed it out. Here you see the cloth and the design taped to a window – a free version of a light table – for pattern tracing:
And here’s progress to date – about four days’ worth:
He’s red because red is a happy color. I’m about two-thirds done, with one ear, some “filler” and some of the lotus frame left to go. I’m very pleased with the way he’s turning out.
For the record, I’m using plain old DMC six strand cotton floss, color #498; two strands for the fillings, three four the chain stitch outlines. I’m working on a coarse cotton/acrylic “linen” that’s not quite even weave (you can see the distortion in the floral pattern in the face, with the north-south axis looking slightly squished compared to east-west). I’m doing this at (for me) a huge gauge of 16 stitches per inch, and the entire piece measures across from lotus-point to lotus point is approximately 8 inches across. All of the fillings above are from my free Ensamplario Atlantio collection.
I have a special purpose for my Lord Ganesh, which will be revealed in time.