Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Transparency versus opaque

The sphere/globe/light installation, I can't quite decide on a title for this piece yet, is moving towards its conclusion, so I decided to introduce another element into the panels before they were all complete.

So far all the panels have all been worked on mulberry paper and I wanted to include at least one panel that is just Free Machine Embroidery plus some hand stitch, which I had not tried before on water-soluble medium.

I wanted a different design for this panel so it had a feeling of rhythm and flow that would match the freedom of no background constraint. I went back to my abstract sketches and the chain fastener, plus some tyre wire that I found in the road, for inspiration.

And came up with this.....

I then FME'd the panel, this time adding a very light blue to the greys and some hand embroidery. 

I was very pleased with how the silk threads in the hand stitch shrunk very slightly and took on a different shape, helping them to integrate with the machine stitch.

The shot below was taken against the window and you can see how much water-soluble media is still left in after washing, I like this as it reflects very well when it has light shone on or behind it.  It is possible that the transparent  panels may show too much of the lights inside the sphere, so I'll have to wait and see at the construction stage.

I have also started to wash off  the panels with mulberry paper behind them, which gives them a greater transparency, but they are still opaque.

I'm now working on the ribs, there will be 14 sides all together, so I'm constructing them using digital embroidery in a circular pattern that has been digitised by hand.

As you can see I'm using the minimum water-soluble medium by stitching the shape into a calico support. It's a bit fiddly but the WS I use is very expensive, especially as I use 2 layers at a time. It's a technique that I learnt  from Shirley a long time ago and am very grateful for the tip.


  1. I am completely in awe of your FME skills! Not to mention your design and conceptualisation skills......

  2. I love this Sharon....the embroidered pieces actually gave me butterflies....beautiful

  3. Wow! You have regularly visited my blog and supported me with comments and all the time here was this gorgeous and meaningful work. I just love this piece Sharon and the research that goes with it.