Thursday, 30 April 2009

To Err is a Moments Carelessness

As I have said before when the stitching is finished Japanese embroidery still has to be 'finished' and I have described the finishing process in this post. I asked if you could see a difference between the before and after pictures. I hoped not, as my concern is that I will spoil my work during the finishing process. In some respects I should hope that you could see the difference as the process is supposed to optimise the shine of the silk and the metallic threads, but truly I am happy to get though the process without any disasters.

When I came to finish Venerable Friends I noticed a loose stitch on the clouds. I was able to correct that simply by gently pulling the thread on the reverse of the work.

I also noticed a lot of dust coming out of the silk during the beating process. This piece has been on the frame for more than two years and has taken more stitching hours than previous ones so it not surprising that it is dustier that the others. I continued beating and whipping away the dust until I was certain that I had removed as much as possible. Already the silk was looking brighter.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

I also took extra time and care with the gluing, there are of loose ends on the reverse from all of those couched threads. The thicker twists and metallic threads can be a bit stubborn but with patience and the aid of a cocktail stick they eventually stay in place.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Steaming was the most satisfying part of the process. Never before have I seen such a difference in the silk, the steam really brought out the shine and vibrancy of silk, as I have been told it should. I am really pleased with how the finishing went.

Last night I began that process of lacing my work onto board ready for framing. I prepared my workspace, placed a clean folded towel on the surface and covered that with tissue paper. I carefully removed VF from the frame and began stretching and pinning her to the acid free board. When I enough pins to hold her in place I decided to double-check the positioning. I took a small ruler, measured ... and stopped in horror. There on my silk fabric was a smudge of purple ink.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

After all the care I had taken, the one thing I had not cleaned before putting it anywhere near my work was the ruler! How could I be so careless!

I resisted the urge to weep - tears would have caused the ink to bleed and only make things worse!

All is not lost but, at the moment, I am really upset. I’ve discussed it with my tutor who made some sensible suggestions. J also made a suggestion that I initially poohooed but on reflection is a very good one.

I decided to sleep on it for a day or two and seek solace in two dear stitching friends and a large glass of wine.

Not so happy stitching.


Misafir (Ruth) Geldi said...

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.... After watching it develop, that horrid purple ink is giving ME a pain in the chest, let alone you. I do hope it can be solved.

Diane said...

I swear my heart skipped a beat when I read that. I think it is every stitchers greatest nightmare. I do hope you come up with a solution.

alsokaizen said...

Oh God that is BRUTAL. I hope that you can find a solution too. Its too beautiful to end like that...

MargB said...

That is just too cruel! But isn't it how the worst things seem to happen - so easily. I am so sad for you, Carol Anne, as it is a really gorgeous piece with so much care and attention in its execution. I hope all is not lost and it can be cured without any lasting damage. Very sensible of you not to rush in and make it worse, perhaps.

Veronica said...

O_O oh no!! After all the hard work and time and care just seeing that little purple blip makes my head hurt! I hope a happy solution is found, but either way, it's still a gorgeous piece. Don't lose heart!

Plays with Needles said...

OH!!! My dear friend, my heart is bleeding for you right now like no other...We have had LOTS of experience with our group regarding various kinds of spots on work -- ink is a tough but one thing I must caution you on is NOT TO MAKE IT WORSE by making the spot bleed and making it a huge blot versus an ink mark -- Right now, I think you could frame your piece with a mat and come in a centimeter or so on the right hand side to cover the spot.

I had a good friend use Dry-El -- a drycleaning substance to positive result even though using such a chemical is a big no -no most of the time. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm happy to email my teacher and gets some other suggestions for you if you'd like. I'm sure she would help -- she has 25 years experience and may have more updated experience since the last time I saw her...

Best of luck, my friend, Susan

Jane said...

I'm glad you are feeling a bit calmer than the other day. I know it's a horrid thing to happen, but knowing you, you'll come up with a very lovely solution.

Anonymous said...

Well I hope you made a phone call and asked that lazy waiter in your house to get you one, glass of wine :-) I was sorry to hear what happened and I hope that all the talking and emailing has helped you come up with how you are going to solve it. Think about my fan that will help you. speak to you soon Sue XX

Anonymous said...

Oh my - you poor thing. words dont seem adequate - i cant even imagine how you must feel. I don't have any fabulous advice, but i hope you can fix it.

Jackie said...

Oh you poor thing, I know exactly how you feel, as if you remember I have had a similar experience with my Himotoba, which I still have not come up with a solution, and I have more than one spot.

Maybe you will be able to frame it with a mat that could cover almost all of it.

I am feeling for you, but I am sure you will come up with something.

Christine said...

What a bummer! I know how you must feel, having poured my soul in to a number of JE pieces. I have 'imperfections' on mine, and it is hard to not stare at them each time I look, tho of course no one else can see them.
If you don't come up with a way to remove the ink soon, I would personally plan on, if possible, finding a way to get rid of the fabric containing the ink, so it won't bleed in the future, which could be disastrous. I can think of cutting inside the ink, and perhaps doing an arched, round, or hexagon mat. Or you could stitch a complimentary color fabric on the cut rectangle (or the same fabric if you can get it), and if the seams aren't straight (which they likely will not be after stretching) using a simple trim (or goldwork?) to cover the seams. Not sure if that makes sense. This last idea might change the design too much. This would all require a couple days of planning, thinking, making samples, etc. Please do let us know what happens.