Monday, March 30, 2009

Icon painting, step three

I don't much like driving in the rain, especially on the freeway. Driving crowded freeways through San Francisco after dark is even worse. Lately it rained on a lot of Sundays which is when the icon workshops are held in San Francisco. Before daylight savings and the advancing season the class let out after dark, even worse. Hence my lack of progress. Yesterday I finally went back to the class and this is the result of my efforts.

The background colors are all filled in now. In egg tempera one works from dark to light so these are the darkest colors, the roskrish or base colors. The flesh and hair base color is called sankir. Can you believe that the pink robes of the angel will eventually be light blue? My dark blue came out too roughly textured so I sanded it just a bit. The sankir is supposed to be opaque but the other roskrish colors may have some translucence. I worked a bit thick on some of them. I added another layer of the brown sankir color to the flesh and hair because it was not opaque enough.

All pigments are traditional egg tempera: powdered period pigments mixed with egg yolk (and a bit of wine in the egg yolk mixture in the Russian tradition).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Brick stitch pattern #2, different colors

The figure illustrated in the image is from the border of this hanging. I loved how the variation in color gives a striped effect and makes a simple pattern look more complicated.

I put together this picture as a starting point for developing a handout. I would like to teach brick stitch at an event and need something to give to students.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brick stitch pattern #10, reversed

I flipped pattern #10 to make an "S" instead of a "Z" since both exist among extant embroideries. You could just use the original pattern and flip it in your head, but I find it easier when I have something to look at. I am still busy working on Pattern #7 so I haven't done much else lately.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pattern #10 as a needle book

I keep coming back to the needle book because it is a way to make a small example of a pattern into something that can actually be used. My goal is to make a small stitched example of most of the patterns, but they can't all be needle books so I have to come up with some more small items to make.

The finished size is approximately 2.5 by 3 inches when closed. Materials are 32 count even weave Zweigart linen ground stitched with a single strand of silk floss from Aurora Silk dyed with Indigo for blue, Brazilwood for burgundy/red, and undyed for white. Natural dyeing of silk floss was courtesy of Renee. The cord used for trim and ties was made using kumi himo technique with four bobbins and two strands of silk on each bobbin to get the required thickness. The lining is burgundy wool scrap from my wool scrap stash.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Brick stitch pattern #10

Pattern #10 comes to us from various sources, including this hanging currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. The embroidered hanging dates to the late 14th century, in Germany. In this hanging the symbol looks like a letter "S". The photograph I used to make the pattern was of the above reliquary box. According to the info on the photo the box dates to the 13th century and is (questionably) from Köln. In this pattern the "S" is backwards, more of a "Z". I liked the variation of the character laying on its side.

My pattern making has slowed down considerably as I now work on stitching examples of some of the patterns. I am also still working on Pattern #7 but I think I am going to stitch it before I post the pattern.