Saturday, 17 February 2007
The Phase II design builds on the techniques used in Phase I and introduces new techniques. The design, Suehiro is a cypress fan. Sue means "end" and hiro means "expand." Fans open from the pivot outward; the design symbolizes expanding on the skills already learnt.
I really enjoyed stitching this design. From the moment I opened the package and saw her for the first time, to the very last stitch. The back ground fabric and the colours were selected by my tutor. The fabric is beautiful and the photograph does not do it justice. Those flecks are woven into the silk; they are textured and very slightly raised. They really shine when the light catches them.
The cypress fan was used by court nobles, and symbolizes elegance and opulence and I think that Suehiro reflects that elegance.
On three of the veins are designs that I learnt on Hanayama; cherry, plum and maple. The stitching methods are the same but some of the petals are padded before the foundation layer is stitched. Compare the top right cherry blossom to the bottom left one and you can see that the petals look plumper. The same it true for the maple leaves. Look at the edges of the top leaf and you can see a shadow around the edge.
Although it doesn’t show well here, the plum bud (the circle at the top) is particularly padded and is truly luscious.
I found it useful to stitch elements that I had done before. Comparing these to their counterparts on Hanayama, I can see how my stitching has come on. The edges of the shapes are sharper and the placement of the stitches has improved.