Monday, 4 May 2009

It's a Cover Up

Thank you everyone who commented or emailed directly with words of comfort and helpful suggestions, both were really appreciated.

My initial thought was that any attempt to remove the ink could result in making things worse. My concern was that the ink would bleed as soon as I added any substance to it. I may have eventually removed most of the ink but thought it more likely that I would end up with a large pale ink mark rather than a small dark one. Further more, I was really concerned that the chemicals capable of shifting the ink would eventually rot the silk fabric. My tutor echoed the same concerns, so we discussed methods of concealing the mark.

There are several motifs on the books that I could have repeated over the stain. The clouds on the top right-hand book in a colour similar to the fabric colour would have been inconspicuous but I thought that the line of staggered diagonals would not be thick enough to cover the stain.

On the top left-hand book is a design in gold and silver fuzzy effect.
Although we considered this, my tutor felt that the ink would still be visible as fuzzy effect is worked in the valley between the weft threads but the ink will have settled on the peak of the weft threads.

The stain is basically a line of ink but there is a slightly larger blob as the end, I thought that it would take something more to conceal it and suggested a plum bud. Of course, I could not just embroidery a bud out of context, it would need a branch and some blossom so it would not look out of place. The motif on the bottom right-hand book is ume, so there would be some continuity. I gave this option serious consideration.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

With each of these options, my main reservation was that these motifs occurred only on the covers or pages of the books. In the end, I decided to go with a suggestion made by J. I have to admit that I originally poohooed his idea; it was made very soon after I discovered my mishap and I was feeling very negative. There is a gold ribbon that lays below the books, across the scroll and disappears under the central book. J suggested that I stitch another length of ribbon as if it reappeared from under the other side of the books.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

The ribbon is not quite as wide as the mark so I made a fold in the ribbon to give extra width over the blob. Even so, it did not fully cover the stain; I had to make the new section broader and I could see that it was thicker than the original. I decided to make the original ribbon the same width as the new section.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

I really like the design and was hugely disappointed to 'ruin' it with a moments carelessness. I think that this was the best solution; the ribbon does not look contrived or out of place. It does alter the balance of the design, or perhaps that is my perception because I know that it is not part of the original design. I will always know what the extra ribbon hides but it won't distract me from the rest of the design.

Happy Stitching


MargB said...

Carol Anne
That is lovely and certainly doesn't look as though it ever had a problem. I think you are brilliant in fixing a potential disaster. This is truly a lovely piece of work.

Elmsley Rose said...

I think that's a *great* fix. You'd never have known there was a problem.
What fortuitous placement of the ink blob!

Deepa said...

Superb cover up,Carol. J is truly brilliant.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the others - it's a perfect solution and does not look out of place at all. im so pleased it could be fixed.

Misafir (Ruth) Geldi said...


Anonymous said...

The cover up is perfect. Nobody will know unless you tell them. What a great idea and you did lovely work on the piece. Congratulations!

Marjorie said...

The final piece looks wonderful and the solution to your problem is perfect. It sounds like you thoughtfully considered your options, talked with experienced guides and added your own touch to a very special piece.

Christine said...

Wonderful. To my eye, it does not throw the balance off too much. Thank you for sharing. Someday I may need to do the same thing.

Elmsley Rose said...

Back again - just so pleased the fix worked so well, so wanted to tell you again!

alsokaizen said...

Perfect. I'm impressed with the way you found such a good solution!

Diane said...

J is wise indeed for this seems to be the perfect solution. It looks marvelous and I dont think it unbalances it at all. Superb!

Mary Corbet said...

Oh, Carol-Anne - I was waiting with baited breath on this one. You have fixed it BRILLIANTLY. The new ribbon belongs there. It's perfect!

Plays with Needles said...

I agree with everyone CA. It looks great and the bend in the ribbon was just the right thing. Frankly, I didn't notice that it wasn't completely covered until you told me. The eye really only sees the ribbon and no one but you will know that the ribbon doesn't really belong there. Great work!

Anonymous said...

Wow it looks good, can't wait to see it framed Talk to you soon LOL sue XX