Friday, April 11, 2008
Changes in Style!
Changes in style - or maybe "go for the gold." It's unbelievable the changes in needlepoint design and stitching due, I think, to the enormous number of new fibers and materials available to us now, that we didn't have even 20 years ago. After almost 40 years of designing painted canvases, mostly "interpretations" of antique Oriental porcelains, I have lost interest due to having a whole new passion for trying out every new fiber or thread or bead I can find - and using them in different ways to see what effects can be achieved. I was doing "lace" and "trims" in the 70's - but with the look of cotton lace, as all we had at that time was Persian wool or tapestry wool or cotton floss. There was nothing shiny or sparkly - so the emphasis in needlepoint design was in color and pattern rather than surface texture and embellishment. Times certainly have changed. I refused to do Christmas ornaments back then, as I thought they were rather ugly with no sparkle. Now I can't stitch them fast enough, as I use them for practice and "research" (good excuse for indulging my addiction) - investigating the characteristics of each new thread I see - and I can't resist buying something new if it is a pretty color and/or it sparkles. As I was doing this piece - which will be a "rollie" (will finish as a cylindrical shape, with the laces and trims spiraling around it) I realized that the metallics I'm using for the whole project are incredible in their variety - especially among the golds. In the three pieces I have drawn, I have used three different metallic golds (from Kreinik), and each of them has several "faces." For instance, the braid used on the spiraling ornament is 002V - "vintage" - and is a soft, gleaming matte. The plain 002 (which I'm using on another mini-stocking) is beautifully sparkling, and the 002 High Lustre is glittering! Then there is also the 002 in the same finishes, but in flat ribbon - 1/16" and 1/8"for use for different effects on different size canvas. On this piece, you can see that the green leaves are stitched with 1/16" metallic ribbon so that they lie nice and flat - an effect I couldn't acheive with the braid in the same color. The veins are a slightly different color - but are braid, as the ribbon is too wide for this. WOW. Having choices is wonderful! Twenty years ago, the only metallic available was a blending filament, which could be used to add a tiny bit of sparkle to cotton floss. The only other option was a horrid, raveling, brassy looking gold, which didn't do much for design work. The rollie with the horizontal bands of laces and trims could easily be turned sideways and become an evening bag - and the experiments and ideas just keep on going round in my head. The detail shows yet another of the golds I am so fond of. This one is a pretty "Florentine" looking braid - the 221, which also is available in the other types. I will be putting a red background on this one, so like this particular gold for it. (more on this another time as these pieces develop.) The spriraling piece - which I think is rather clever, as it took me an entire afternoon of cutting up TP tubes after drawing lines on a 45 degree angle around them to figure it out - has a lovely matte velvet background - the Rainbow Gallery Very Velvet - which is why I chose to use the Vintage gold braid. It's gorgeous - the two together. Change is good, I think.!! At least this kind - where it adds to the enjoyment and versatility of a great hobby and occupation.