Monday, 11 May 2015

Frosted Landscapes with Janet Humphrey

I had a lovely day on Saturday. I had the chance to spend the day looking at creating a machine and hand stitched landscape with Janet Humphrey who is a very patient and generous tutor.
Working from a photo of a winter landscape, I made the mistake of trying to work too big for an initial experiment. Not that I realised this until late in the day!

I'm using the middle picture of a ploughed field.

First task was to assemble the right collection of fabrics.

Quickly realising that these were in fact far too dark. So now I scoured round to see what I had with me and that Janet had brought for us and began to layer these up to create the horizontal layers of colour that make up the image.

Just placing the fabrics in the right area to get an idea of how they will work.

I machine stitched randomly over the scrunched up organza and then machine embroidered the skeletal trees branches over the organza.

I added in a frayed silk strip and a coarse organza like net to stand for the snow field.

I took space dyed scrim and layered it with some organza and stitched folds in it to create a ploughed field texture and tacked that in place.

Adding grey organza for the tree outline seemed like the right thing, but it was too dominantly dark.

So I tried some of the dyed scrim overplayed with silver curtail fabric, the colour was better.

I added in more slightly scrunched heavy organza to break up the starkness of the grey line.

Now I used a multi dyed thread to machine stitch the tree branches in place.

Now I stitched row upon row of horizontal straight stitch lines across the heavy organza to flatten it right down.

I added white teased out wool yarns in between the furrows of the ploughed field, hand stitching the. In place.

I machine stitched up and down the furrows to further flatten them and unravelled some ornate braid to give me a bundle of black threads which I fanned out over the tree on the right.

This was as far as I got in the day, so now I need to squeeze out some time to complete the piece. 
I have learned that I did not need to include as much scrunched fabric initially, basic shapes would have done because of the amount of surface stitching I was then going to add. Some bits of this are now so stiff with the layers that hand stitch through it will now be quite difficult. I would also have benefited from taking a smaller sliver of the photo and concentrating on the textures and the detail as I failed to give myself the opportunity to create detailed textures. 
I could have done with doing this day before I made my first four JQs this year!

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