As the threads roll, I thought you all might like to see the Mo as he is developing… Our beloved Akita — we still miss him, but this memorial is REALLY starting to shine!!
One of the most important aspects of this kind of heavily layered embroidery is to first stitch a good base so that, as I start filling in defining details, the “fur” develops in a natural and realistic way.
It’s a very intuitive process, much like sketching or painting… Which is probably why this kind of embroidery is often called “thread painting” (though the term often refers to machine not hand stitching).
For me, I find the creative act of finding lines very interesting and really get lost in it for hours as I select colors to compliment and inform each other and then choose where they should be placed.
This is a VERY forgiving technique — if a stitch or stitches seem wrong, I can easily remove or stitch over them. Ultimately, it’s trial & error. repeat, repeat!
At this stage, I’m about 30 hours into the project, using 19 colors. This is where it really gets fun, because now I start adding dimension. First, the bridge of the nose, the prominent brow ridge, and the muzzle.
I’ve also put a lot of work into the eye (Mo had great green eyes so that will be fun to do!)
Over the next few days, I’ll fill in more fur on the neck and face, and begin the ears.
In the mean time, I’m preparing for the workshop I’m teaching for MoFA at the Conference in Tan TarA next weekend. We’ll be experimenting in Liquitex Effects gels in my “Mixed Media Stitch Lab”.
For those of you who remember my gallery show at the Campanella in 2009, you may recall my piece ‘the Roots at Dusk’. It will be delivered & installed at the KC Art Institute North campus gallery for a 6 week show of faculty works opening May 18 at 5pm. If you’re curious about how one works 110,000 stitches over 12 square feet, Visit the Roots Diary & then come out & see!!
In other news: if you want to visit me WITH the Root, I’ll be at Maker Faire KC on June 23 & 24 at Union Station!!! I’ll ALSO have the Womandrake there… AND Mo the Akita… now THAT’s worth coming out for!!
For my local students, don’t forget to visit the class schedule page to see what’s on for both adults & kids in May & June… LOTS of cool projects! See you around!!!