I happy to introduce one of my latest fiber art designs, Dreamer. The original thought in my mind was different than the outcome, which frequently happens in my work as it evolves. The conception changes as I work with the colors and texture. I change my decisions as to where it is going based on what I am feeling and seeing. My palette of colors was chosen and the linen pressed and stretched to a frame creating a canvas for me to work on. The colors were grouped in families; warm grays, browns, mauve, grapes, reds, oranges, and a family of contrasts in chartreuse. I used what is available here from my huge stock of threads, mostly cotton floss but also pearl cotton, rayon and metallic threads. All the thread was cut into usable lengths and tied to cards for organization. All the skeins of thread were kept in small packages that were secured to a large ring. The organization it takes to start any of my projects usually takes a couple of hours itself.
This embroidery began with a drawing of the face in graphite. The face I drew was shortened as I stitched and the expression slightly altered to convey more contentment and appear more realistic.
I started to take progress photos of the stitching of the “hair” after the face was completed. I worked on this for an hour or two at a time. Every time I stepped away I saw how the colors needed worked and re-worked to create a blended effect. There are approximately 34 colors in this work. I have to use my threads to blend much as a painter blends their paint. Shades, tones and tints. The process was interesting for me. I have never created something like this before. It was neat to continually add more color, more depth to the design. The slide show below shows some of the progression of stitching. The colors are off because I took the photos under various lighting with my camera or phone.
The result of my stitching and stitching was heavy layers of the cotton floss and the design became raised from the linen. Incredible texture was created due to the process I was using to paint the linen; Add a new color, work it into the previous layer, add low lights, work the previous layer into the new one and add highlights, repeat. Hours went by. The images in the slide show below show the depth and texture of Dreamer.
After the hair was completed…or more accurately, I stopped nitpicking and reworking the design, I added the chartreuse to the spaces between the curls making my choice of colors “pop” even more vibrantly. In the final hours of work, I added pearl cotton, rayon and metallic threads for spark throughout the hair. But the icing on the cake was the brilliant Swarovski crystals that were added and the tiny little pop-up PIXIE butterflies that flutter about the curls. The PIXIEs are shuttle tatted with the finest cordonnet and wee silver-lined glass beads are tatted into the wings. The are hand sewn in and stiffened to remain 3-D. I created a swirl of shimmer radiating from the face to the tips of the flaming hair. In the next set of detail pics you can see the raised butterflies, Swarovski crystals and the chartreuse that peeks through the curls.
I framed the work myself. I chose a simple silver metal frame and double mat in white and an ivory that matches the linen.
Dreamer is now available for sale in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter. You can find the listing and full description here. I am also joining another venue called fineartamerica to sell prints of this and other embroideries. When I have my account up and running, I will post here so you can stop by and tell me what you think! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what a Snappy Tatter does when she is not tatting! Comments are encouraged!
Live, Love, Tat!