My embroidery and creative stitching experiences.

I have thought about this chapter for a long time. I have not looked inside my folder or sketchbook for months but I do look at their spines and sometimes I pick them up and shuffle them about. I know from experience that the hardest part is getting started and after that things start to flow and you enter a happy zone where you are focussed and absorbed in the work so much, time flies and you don’t want to stop but you have to because all those interfering little niggling guilt trips about everyday things seep back into your brain!

I have started and stopped the practical work for today but I promise I will continue with this work on a more regular basis. I have no excuses, I have the time, I want to do it and I can do it.

Ink Marks 

( If you see numbers on the images please ignore these as they went wrong round about no. 19!)

 Gordon Gecko. (image 1 – 6)

1                                            2                                        3

gecko 1gecko  6gecko 2

The gecko’s skin is covered in a variety of marks from dots and dashes to lines and stripes. His textured skin has bumps and ridges on it. I have tried to recreate similar marks here using a variety of card widths.  I used the cards in a variety of ways. Dragging using the edges, dotting, drawing rings and curves using the tip of the corner.

4                                         5                                       6

gecko 3IMG_5395gecko 4

Gerry Giraffe (image 7 – 10)

7                              8                            9                             10

giraffe 7giraffe 8IMG_5389IMG_5388

I was not sure how I was going to make ‘giraffe’ marks so these evolved as I experimented with the ink and card.

7) I was trying to create random irregular shapes so I sprinkled some water on the paper then dabbed ink in various places and swept over it with the card. Although not a great piece of work it gave me ideas to play with a bit more.

8) I cut notches in a short edge of card. After dragging patches of ink with broad and narrow card I added marks around the edges with the notched card.

9) Not thinking too hard about what I was doing here to begin with, just letting it happen then I started to think about the spaces between the marks this lead to 10).

10) I was more aware of the spaces between the marks. I wanted to keep irregular shapes within the spaces so I used the card to make sweeping curves as well as sharper edged marks.

Terry Turtle (11 – 15)

11                                            12                                    13

turtle 11 turtle 12 turtle 13

14                                         15

turtle 14 IMG_5381

11) I used the end of a cardboard tube to make the oval shapes. The first blob was a bubble of ink inside the tube which burst and splattered lightly over the sheet. After that I had the marks I was expecting. Inside the rings I used the tube folded in half. I also added marks using a piece of straight card which I tried to make a coiled shape from.

12) I was now thinking about using the straight-edged cards to create curved marks. There are lots of sketchy marks on the turtles shell but they don’t overlap as mine do here, rather they are more concentric as in image 14.

13) The turtle has big googly eyes. This was the inspiration for this image, however if you turned the image on its side it looks like the marks on his skin too.

15) Continuing to think about the skin, I went back to the folded piece of card. these look like the marks on his neck. (sort of!)

Eric Elephant ( 16 – 18)

16                           17                         18

elephant 18elephant 17elephant 16

16) Using curved card making the folded edges closer so that the shapes formed become smaller and smaller.

17) Reverting to straight edges but making curved lines and straight marks between these. Varying the thickness of the lines.

18) Developing 17) further by sweeping marks over the paper first then adding lines, trying to create depth to the marks.

Zander Zebra (19 -23)

19                            20                        21

IMG_5371IMG_5367zebra 21

22                    23

zebra 22, 23

19 ) and 23) were inspired by the pattern on the nose of the zebra. The main difference between these two images is that in 23) I was thinking more about texture and the boldness of the marks.

20) This is a little more abstract as it merges the straight, vertical lines of the head and the curved, vertical lines of the body.

21) Lines created by the long edge of card made diamond shapes. Heavily applied ink contrasts with the thinner, lighter lines.

22) Back to the marks on the body, I was thinking more about the width and variety of gently curving diagonal marks I could make.

Bobby Bird (24 – 29)

24                             25                                    26


27                                         28                                         29

IMG_5351 bird 27   IMG_5349

The patterns created by the feathers on my chosen bird are very varied. 24) and 27) show patterns and marks on the wings and head created by short broken or stippled marks using cards with notches cut in them. 28) and 29) are focussing on the feathers themselves. In 29) I was trying to create a softer looking mark.

28) shows the curves created by layers of feathers and 29 was inspired by the swooping fan-shaped tail feathers.


Comments on: "Chapter 5 Making patterned Papers." (5)

  1. Your long thinking time has obviously paid off. What wonderful marks you have made! I’m feeling now that I didn’t do enough justice to this chapter when I did it. I’m glad somebody else has long gaps. I’m the same. I have to be in the right mood to do the work and that never seems to happen when I have the time and all the right materials at hand! I particularly like your turtle marks – you have found a huge variety of different ones.

    • Thank you Catherine, I am never sure if I have done enough so tend to go a bit overboard but it all takes an incredibly long time! I started off thinking I would do lots of work around birds but I seem to be more drawn to the turtle just now!

  2. Thank you Catherine, I am never sure if I have done enough so tend to go a bit overboard but it all takes an incredibly long time! I started off thinking I would do lots of work around birds but I seem to be more drawn to the turtle just now!

  3. Your ink marks are fabulous! Free and energetic, lots of movement and very, very animal! I especially love your giraffe and zebra marks. I’m another long gaps person, unfortunately – spending a lot of time travelling for work, it tends to be difficult to build up momentum. It’s the trouble with being a mature-age student with so many calls on one’s time. I’m trying to quarantine time in the morning each day – sometimes it works, sometimes not.

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