This is an experiment. The background fabric is a fine and lightweight white silk backed with white cotton and all the threads are silk. I do not usually have the luxury of stitching with silk, but being on the elderly side of life, I wondered what I was saving them for. Also, my ambitions are greater than energy and this took a very long time. Being experimental, there was also a lot of trial, error and reverse stitching.
Without any lines on the fabric, it was necessary to mark the grain directions with basting threads to give me some sense of space and direction. The design is made to fit an oval frame with a 1/2″ space between the stitching and the frame. I became desperate for some stable markings and used a blue ink pen on the right-hand side to mark the frame position. This was a big mistake. The marks would have been visible if I had used the original frame. To cover this ‘ink error’, the framing had to be rethought. More about mounting and framing later.
The sky is laid work technique using flat silk. The long threads in the sky are vertical and for the frozen pond, they are horizontal. Both are grain perfect. The flat silk threads were a gift and I had a limited range of colour as well as a very limited length, ie, barely enough.
The long threads are characteristic of laid work and must be secured with crossing threads. The direction of these security threads show that the wind is blowing which is normal in the north. There is some frozen water, the start of the trees and the Inukshuk is laid out on masking tape. He proved to be too tall and out of proportion for the landscape.
The trees are all stitched with a twisted silk thread which is much easier to work with. Casual use of fishbone stitch achieved the effect of northern evergreens. Note the blue in marks!
The Inukshuk is made of jade fragments that were in a bracelet I purchased in Victoria, British Columbia. The holes through the stones are in any direction making it difficult to attach them to the background as intended. This one was at least the fourth attempt. There is a limit on reverse stitching before the fabric is damaged and this damage becomes visible. The trees generally are stitched unevenly and this was intentional. The northern forests withstand harsh weather and growth is erratic and the trees are wind sculptured.
The caribou tracks are running stitch which has been whipped in some places.
The next entry will be on the framing of this piece. It has much to tell us all.