Sunday, October 29, 2006

My new secret passion is embroidering on canvas. There's something so exciting about ready preped canvases and I've been buying them in every teenie size possible-as small as 3"x5"-though the surface available for stitching is much smaller in these sizes. To make use of the rest of the space, I've started drawing the rest of the image as a continuation of the embroidery (usually a combination of split stitches, french knots, and other stitches used in crewel work) since it is confined to the interior (rectangle or square) space created by the frame. It's a neat effect because you don't see the embroidered section as a specific rectangle at first.

I've also been embroidering whole pictures as sortof seen below. The work looks so crisp and clean against the white canvases and I love them unframed-the lines are severe compared to the stitching, but the stapled canvas rounds the edges and makes for a sorta cozy minimalism. There's a new term for you. BTW: I know all of these photos are kind of yellowed. Please imagine them otherwise.

If you want to try this too I do have a top tip: oh my goodness use a strong needle and a thimble. I've been thinking a lot about thimbles lately (!) I've always thought they were pretty silly and cumbersome (and then the whole collectable thing is just plain weird) and I have made do without. The one thing i hadn't considered was just how charming sillyness can be. An ex-student came into the store last month looking for a thimble. She had met a lad who was going away forever later that afternoon. She wanted to do something about it but they had only just met and everything she thought of seemed overthetop and presuming. But his name was Peter. She wanted to give him a thimble. Can you stand it? Thank goodness I don't know any Peters anymore.

No, the only Peter I really know of is my great great something Sir Peter Parker, who was a patron of Lord Nelson and whose pants had an unfortunate run in with a cannon (as sung by Burl Ives?!)

"Now Clinton by land
Did quietly stand
While my guns made a terrible rumpus,
But my pride took a fall when a well-aimed ball
Propelled me along on my bumpus!
Ri tu den dio, ri tu den di ay
Propelled me along on my bumpus!"

Soundrack: "Sir Peter Parker", Leslie Nelson Burns. Click HERE to hear the song and read the rest of the lyrics. You'll also find the catty thing the Constitutional Gazetteer wrote about the incident. Clearly the Fug Girls of their day.


meegiemoo said...

You're related to Spiderman? (I hope I'm not that only one who thinks that when they read Peter Parker.)

Ahem. Lovely embroidery - very thought provoking.

Anonymous said...

Love your work morg! I have to admit, I've been thinking about our conversation on playing with embroidery scale. I was also thinking that some of those crewel designs that we were talking about (I have to remember to bring my book to KOL sometime) would make AMAZING full size hooked rugs...

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