Monday, 22 April 2013


Before I launch into my latest consolidation attempts, I thought I'd show you my first rather unsuccessful attempts at steaming and bending the dowel rods that I was hoping to use as the frame for my new piece.

I used a steam iron to try and soften the dowel and the tried various ways of bending it, including this last attempt of strapping it around the bed frame and pulling it round a very heavy angle-poise lamp base. I could only achieve this sad little curve before it broke in half, so..... much more thought required on this one.

Rather than spend too long on wood that's probably not the right sort for this technique, I moved on to refining the shape of the ribs and and the rest of the construction. 

As you can see I drafted them on graph paper to get them perfectly symmetrical.

You might remember that I had a dreadful job sticking the ribs together on the original mock-up because I was trying to stick cut edges together, so this time I created tabs on the edges.

And as you can see below it worked a treat.

I was now ready to firm up the template for the embroidered panels, which I did on graph paper again.

This was the tricky bit, fitting them to the ribs.

Just a bit too big......but after adjustment I put them all together..... well nearly!

Anyone got any ideas how I can fit the last panel without access to it...... I've conveniently shelved that one for a couple of weeks.

However, so far I have a symmetrical sphere, which is an improvement on the first mock-up.

But.....have I sacrificed a bit of crazy eccentricity for geometrical symmetry? My daughter Pru asked me, did I have to have all the ribs the same? Food for thought

My next move has been into digital embroidery for the ribs. I thought it would be interesting and a challenge to see if I could create something similar to my FME sample below.

And I was delighted to find that I could.

In the above image you can see the template that I used in the digitising process, which I then machined as a first sample onto non-soluble stabiliser. The RHS sample has been stitched onto the last of my water soluble and is now drying after being washed away.

The samples above were stitched with a triple outline stitch round the edge and a single stitch in the middle. I didn't think that the texture was strong enough so I did another design and stitched the whole lot with a triple outline.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this stitches out on water soluble medium.

And lastly a couple of pages from my sketchbook, where I'm still looking at ideas for stitch.

This one is a continuation of my first page where I've now been looking at tape lace and enjoying letting the sketch evolve around the original ideas.

I couldn't resist this lovely Elizabeth collar worn by Mary Stuart, seen on our trip to France in 2011. 

1 comment:

  1. You certainly give yourself challenges! Could you make each panel slightly short of the bottom,then use a stitched disc to close the gap?