Ok, this isn’t the best lit photo, but I’ve left it so long before writing about Mr Leopard – and I’ve just discovered the batteries in my camera are flat. Here are some more photos which show portions of the piece, rather better lit, so you can meet him properly :
I did this piece as part of the Thistle Thread Stumpwork Casket course, but it isn’t an official kit or design. I did my own design, wanting to put several simple techniques together. I hadn’t done a slip before, for example.
I learnt the design techniques, and suitable motifs and colours to use as part of the course.
I did the piece on silk from Golden Hinde, with a calico (muslin) backing, laced onto a slate frame. Learning how to dress a slate frame was part of doing this piece. I think I’ve more or less gotten the hang of it.
Except I did it backwards with the depth of the horizontal bars facing forwards.
The slate frame was from Western Australia (Ashley Verner), details available on request. On the subject of slate frames, here’s a link to RSN graduate, Sarah Homfrey’s vid on dressing a slate frame which I found very helpful as well as Mary Corbet’s tutorial.
The threads are a mixture of the AVAS Soie Ovale and Soie Paris (17thC colour palette range) supplied as part of the course. The bell flowers are in Soie Paris, the rest of the piece is in Soie Ovale (flat thread) or in Chinese flat thread.
The Chinese flat thread I used is described under the heading
Chinese filament silk from Suzhou
in Fran’s blog La Soffita Del Tempo Perduto
17th C.English Raised Embroidery reproductions: materials. Part 3 – SILK THREADS (revisited)
Today, I’ll talk about how Mr Leopard was put together :
From the top down…..
* The clouds are done over 3 layers of wool felt, each layer larger than the one underneath. The top cloud was edged in gimp and the second, smaller cloud was edged in backstitch.
* I did the sun’s background first. Then I drew it’s face on tissue paper, tacked the paper over the stitched sun and stitched through it. Then I tore the paper off – voila, a face! Thankyou Susan Davis for the tip for this technique.
* The blue/cream hillock was done directly on the ground
* The green/yellow hillock was done on one layer of felt
* The flower was stitched directly over the top of the green/yellow hillock. I wasn’t sure if the felt would ‘pull through’ and show tufts, or if the long and short stitches of the hillock would be disturbed by stitching the flower – but it all worked out just fine.
* Mr Leopard himself was done as a slip.
in a small separate hoop on 34 count Legacy Linen. His design is based on the leopard in the piece The Five Senses and the Four Elements, on page 78 of Twixt Art and Nature, (Metropolitan Museum 64.101.1315).
After stitching him, I cut the slip down to around 6 threads from the border of the stitching. This photo shows how close – I’d just placed him on top of the main piece. This photo also shows the layer of felt attached ready for the yellow/green hillock :
I then stabilized it using PVA and adding a muslin backing. When dry, I cut to the edge of the stitching. Then I attached him to the main piece using tiny stitches and a single ply of flat silk thread, then edged him in gimp. I learnt this from reading Jane Stockton’s blog, and it has worked just fine. She did have a box.net document but it appears to be dead. The information can be found by reading
I love the piece and I’ve learnt lots. But there are several mistakes I’ve made. I’ll talk about them next. Yes, major bubbles in the silk!
Later : Various Blogger blog people have received emails from me in lieu of comments on their blog in the last few months, as I’ve explained that Gmail isn’t letting me comment on Blogger Blogs. It appears I can’t comment on my own blog either! So thankyou Rachel and Sue for your lovely comments …and to those who left comments on my last post ….. and if anyone knows which setting, on Earth, it is that I’ve set wrongly, please do let me know. I’ve spent hours on the problem.