book cover

You know how it is, four days off and you think you can finish something…but then you faff about, eat cake, chat with the nieghbours, and don’t get finished.

If I’d put my back into it I really could have finished this.

book Instead I didn’t even start it until THursday afternoon, then I mucked about a lot. In my defence I couldn’t have finished it anyway, as I soon realised I was going to run out of gold twist. More is on order, but I probably won’t get enough playtime at Gareth’s to finish this until the easter hols now.

It’s based on one of the c16th pieces in this book . It’s brown silk velvet, which I backed with linen so I’d have something to anchor threads to at the back, couched with no6 2% gold twist, no 2 gold passing, and some purl. Normally I don’t get to use purl, as it’s a bit late for me, so that made a change.

As you can see I didn’t even try to mark out the pattern on the velvet, I just established the basic grid, then placed my own scale drawing alongside and worked freehand from sight.

If you turn it upside down it looks a lot like a crucifix (which it won’t once it’s on an actual book) and I found this quite interesting. Because of the silversmithing I’ve studied a lot more medeival altar crosses than your common or garden athiest, and I was struck by how stylistically similar this was to some late c15th crosses which have a sort of silver scalloped frill around the outside – very like the scallops here.

I deliberately worked the back of the book first (the front and spine are identical patterning) because if you recall I was trying to work out what one of the fillers stitches was last week, and I ended up experimenting a bit. Probably a stupid thing to do with such expensive materials, but then I’ve never been known for my sense.

book dThe leafy thing top left was where it occured to me that the fill might be nothing more than slightly untwisted twist, so I tried it. As you can see it’s a bit pants, and the filler stitch I seem to have invented looks loads better. I’m going to go with the filler stitch the rest of the way, but I’m tempted to leave this to stand (I’ll tidy it up a bit) because it’s not so much of a cock-up as a learning mistake/experiment, and I think that whereas you should unpick cock-ups you should leave learning mistakes as a reminder – and it is the back of the book, after all.

I think I’ll also put yellow cloth behing the purls in the rest of the central acanthus base, as the velvet shows though too much.

I’m thinking of asking Alex to bind this onto a blank book for me, so I can make myself proper notes about the things I’ve made because my memory has never been brilliant. I could have done with such a book two years ago at the IMc when a lady from the Tower of London treid to aks me sensible questions about silversmithing but unfortunately I was somewhat hungover and my brain had gone on strike…

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~ by opusanglicanum on February 25, 2013.

22 Responses to “book cover”

  1. I agree about letting learning experiences stand – that’s what they’re for!

  2. I adore this level of detail. Swooning…

  3. I think my favourite part of your comment on this post is about having your work bound into a book you could carry around with you and use. Bravo. I have a lovely carved leather book I use but how much nicer to take a book that I’ve embroidered. While it might take a while for you to get this book finished, please remember to post a photo of the finished work.

    I love your gold work! You are inspiring me to go drag out my supplies (pray they aren’t tarnished) and create something shiney. I haven’t done goldwork in ages and seeing your work – I think it’s about time. Thanks – I think!! 🙂

    • I think it depends what type you buy, as some golds tarnish quicker than others.

      I think the problem with an embroidered book is that it might need a protective leather bag

  4. FREEHAND! Oy, is there no limit to your talentedness?

  5. I am so jealous of your talent. If I could do this sort of thing I would. The book cover will be really gorgeous. I am waiting in for a delivery of a blanket-sized fleece panel with the Mona Lisa on it. This tells us all we need to know about our varying levels of taste. Can’t wait to see it finished.

    • by fleece panel do you mean one of those fuzzy polyester blankets that usually have unicorns and rainbows on? I suppose da vinci is a bit more tasteful.

      am supposed to be putting together a proposal for a medieval embroidery workshop at imc 2014 – you could come and have a go?

  6. I love this. It’s gorgeous. The gold on velvet looks sumptuous. Add me to the people impressed that you’re freehanding it. What a fantastic book this will be.

    I don’t think you should feel bad about not getting further. There was cake!

  7. Yours is one of my favorite blogs to stalk…er.. read. Your humorous commentary alongside stellar talent makes my day happy.

  8. It’s lovely. If I made a book like that, I would think it too pretty to write in.

  9. I’ve been using loom waste I scrounged from the studio a while back. I think its 2/20 weight cotton yarn. I’m getting of the end of the stuff I scrounged, but a cone of it is fraction of the price of embroidery floss.

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