Ahh goldwork. So pretty, so shiny. I mentioned Tracy Franklin’s book yesterday, or just go and check out her website. Tanja Berlin does more flower-type designs and has a lot of kits which are definately pretty, shiny and a great way to get into the technique without having to try and source all the specialty threads (and instructions!) yourself.
I’ve been collecting goldwork threads and books in a very magpie-like fashion for a couple of years and have been slowly incorporating them into my pieces (the threads and techniques I mean, not the books). But there’s one technique I hadn’t yet tried and really, really wanted to – Or Nué. In this, thick gold-covered thread such as Jap gold is couched down in tight rows, and coloured silk is stitched over row by row to create the image. The gold shimmers through, the silks are colourful and lustrous… it’s an all-over rich affair. It was used a lot in ecclesiastical stuff – well, goldwork in general was mainly done for the church or royalty anyway because it uses, y’know, actual gold. Not something for the plebs.
But I’d always wanted to give it a shot, and also had a very general idea of what the subject matter should be, so now I’ve finally started. Only I’m leaving the gold out.
I’d fully planned to use Jap gold, but when I started pulling everything out and looking at my plans, I decided that I wanted something a bit rougher, a little less pretty. So I grabbed a ball of string from the kitchen drawer and started.
This is how it stands at the moment. Excuse my slightly secretive corner view, but with the design transferred onto the backing fabric, it’d give too much away if I showed the whole piece. I want to see if I can faithfully reproduce the design in this method and I’d like your unbiased-by-the-original-picture opinion of the finished piece.. I’m pretty much freehanding the flow of the string around the piece –Or Nué generally uses straight lines but I saw this done somewhere else and found it beautiful (can’t find the link at the moment, will update when I do)- and I guess we’ll see how it turns out.