Home IV: Looking Through

This piece of work is a continuation of my Home series of embroideries and represents my 10 years in Leicester. Although I had a good job, good friends and met my husband there, it was always going to be transitory; too far from the sea, too grey and too noisy. The canal towpath was often the destination of Sunday walks. This bridge takes cars roaring over to Fosse Park, the out of town shopping ‘destination’, scarring the landscape as much as any graffiti, litter or barbed wire along the path.  The bridge is the gateway between the urban and natural environments, yet in reality the two intermingle and the noise of traffic is ubiquitous. At the time of photographing and planning this piece, my mother-in-law was in the hospice and lots of my photographs related to pylons, ‘danger of death’ triangles and barbed wire cutting into posts, trees and benches. In stitching the piece, some months later, time has healed the anger and my relationship with Leicester is now more of a sense of sorrow.  The ‘sorry’ graffiti was genuine, although artistic license has situated in the centre of the piece.

Worked on canvas, I incorporate canvas work stitches, applique and hand and machine-wrapped cords. I am particularly fond of the barbed wire around the edge – machine wrapped cords over wire. The graffiti gave me the opportunity to use embroidery floss on a smaller count canvas. This seems to be becoming my style and I like it.

I have decided to enter this into the Embroiderers’ Guild members challenge, ‘Looking Through’ although I am uncertain as to whether it will be accepted as the finished piece may be considered too deep for the brief. What is this uniformity all about? A certain depth so they can all be displayed together nicely! Anyway… lesson learned – check the brief next time!

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My Fantastic Cabbage!

My Fantastic Cabbage

My Fantastic Cabbage

Ta da…. My Fantastic Cabbage! The finished piece, complete with butterflies and caterpillar.  The butterflies were made using stumpwork techniques, although not strict to the rules of 1 strand of cotton at a time.  I wanted to show the veins of the butterflies and using 4 strands of silk gave me the desired effect.  Their bodies are made of handmade felt beads and wire was wound around to secure legs and antennae. The caterpillar is handmade felt, rolled rather than needle-felted, finished with French knots.  Just one hole is cut into the cabbage and some nibbled edges.  It’s not to scale, which  adds a fantasy feel to the piece.  Great fun to make.  What next, bee on a pea?