23 April 2012

Book du jour - couching

An experiment in couching - like the stitched islands and lakes, sewn into a little notebook from Paperchase. As with all embroidery, there is a back and a front to the work, and how many of us were taught that the back should be as neat as the front? I suspect that within many of us there lurks a secret member of the Embroidery Police ... why else would be compulsively turn the work over to look at the back?

My embroidered books exploit this tendency, often without managing the neatness thing - what's to be done with the inevitable end of the thread? 

In this as-yet-untitled book, the thick thread is continuous - it just lies there - and the couching (thin) thread starts at the middle of the page, goes round the edge, across the middle, round the edge of the next page, and back to the middle before needing to be tied off. As it goes round the page, the thread can go either above or below the previous one, giving either smooth results, as above, or this sort of thing -

The edges of the pages, where the threads cross to the next page, are rather satisfying.

I like to have a title in mind while I work, but this has no title yet. "Readers" have commented that it's like views out the train window, or like a conversation, or music - and even that its black-and-whiteness, thick-and-thinness reminds them of the Wainright guidebooks to the Lake District -
Been there, done that ... and the sun shone. Image from here
Each of those responses brings up different possibilities for adding elements, or - simpler; better! - different ways of manipulating the line.

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