That said, I'm very happy with my progress so far and am really enjoying the freedom of not having a deadline, but I also need to be aware of following too many blind alleys otherwise this piece will never be finished, something else that I leant on the Diploma course.
Having struggled to make a circular shape with the ribs of the sphere I went back to the drawing board and constructed a much larger circle, 20" in diameter this time, and gave the ribs much more of a curve.
I also cut the number of ribs from 10 to 8 in order to give a wider space between them to show off the embroidery.
Making the ribs wedge shaped in paper is still causing a few problems as it's difficult to glue the centre pieces that push the 2 outside pieces apart, as they butt together and there is no surface area to glue, maybe I need some tabs.
After much glueing and persuasion I had a workable mockup.
Which I then sketched as I wanted to get a feel for the shape and balance of the sphere in this size. It also gave me the opportunity to put a couple of Photoshop filters on it to give me an abstract idea of lighting.
And finally one with fairy lights inside......
Because I like variety I dropped back to the embroidery I had been working on in my sample panel and devised some more hand stitches, in my quest to find more stitches that would float over the surface of the machine embroidery.
In this one you can see that I've created buttonhole bars in order to make the framework for spider's web stitch.
And here's a much looser version which I much prefer.
Having retrieved our light box from our daughter's loft I am now able to get a better idea of how these stitches will work against the light.
As this sample is almost complete I returned to the sphere and started to develop a prototype panel to fit the shape.
I decided that I preferred working from a predetermined design for the panel as it can be repeated and feels a more comfortable way for me to work, other than almost completely freestyle, as in the sample panel.
The panel was then pinned out ready for washing out the stabiliser.
I took off 2 of the ribs and glued the panel in place, and then replaced the whole thing back on the sphere framework. Having got it in place I then removed part of the central bar so it didn't interrupt the panel. I think I maybe able to fit the second panel without removing the ribs, it's just another construction decision.
As you can see the ribs have been painted in gold acrylic, with the idea of seeing how they might look in a stained wood, but I'm not sure about this at the moment, more experiment needed.
Lastly I sketched the sphere at this stage and filled in the missing panels to see how it might work.
Just as a last thought, there is no hand embroidery on these panels as they are just for the prototype.