Subject matter sometimes determines approach. My usual method of applying elements for this work just wouldn’t suit, as that method is “heavier” and more solid, even with holes added 🙂

Because of the scale of the projected piece, i didn’t want to just jump in this time, even though i have plenty of ideas and a reasonably firm vision of what’s going where and how. I spent yesterday doing more tests, and must say i really appreciate the virtue now of sampling first! The first run through always takes more time than you thought it would–and yet, less, which is always a good thing 🙂

A single layer of cotton harem-cloth is a beautiful thing. It’s a little shifty, and takes a firm grip to keep it in line, especially when you don’t like using a hoop, but oh i do love the effect.

sample-figure-1d-cAin’t he the hunk?

I didn’t want him to be such a stark white however. First i tried coffee dyeing. Nope, too close to the white. Rinsed that out, dabbed on WEE WEE bits of Procion. Nope, too strong, and the colour was too red (that “rust brown” is definitely too red). Washed that out, or most of it, then got out the paint again. Good enough for sampling purposes, i’ll watch the dispersion and blending rate more consciously on the real deal, but am rather pleased.


I almost wish i hadn’t cut out centre portions, but only because the placement on the background didn’t take the dark areas underneath into consideration. Even so, i think it’s quite the look i want, but that fine fine grey thread i used was a pain in the Bazotski –i think i need new glasses again……………..

figure-sampling-1-cThe size of this is a standard “A4” page, and it scares me a bit to think of the shifting on a larger scale. I may have to dig out my largest hoop after all: the grain and weave of this fabric is so malleable, that i don’t want stitches skewing the angles. Because the larger pieces will have more interior space as well, that means more stitching inside, whether on the harem cloth itself, or in any voids. Best to get a handle on it right from the start!

Working this little trial also has the advantage of adding more ideas for other work. I think it will show up on this somehow:


Poor girl has been sighing and pouting in the stoodio since the beginning of September!



5 responses to “ghosting

  1. Ooh, this is wonderful! That harem cloth is a dream, isn’t it? But it can easily puddle and shift. I hate hoops, but if you are doing anything on the harem cloth without a backing you may have to succumb.

    Liked by 1 person

    • i’ve had the darn stuff for years, have dyed it, futzed around with it, but never really considered it for actual “serious” work—i’ll be revising that mind set! and yep, gonna have to hoop the larger real work no doubt!
      and what have *you* been up to lately?


      • Oh, it’s so lunatic I shall just have to send you a few images. A life size, reversible wrapping for a body with the outside pieced and the inside rice paper with the Nebraska river system drawn on it, then handwritten text along the contours, then laminated to batting and covered with harem cloth (!) then free motion stitched, then hand embroidered along selected phrases. The wrapping is shaped (circular flaps) and will have ties to keep it closed and I’m now trying to learn how to do the xxxx (curse words) binding.

        Liked by 1 person

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