Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Sake Boxes - Cherry Blossoms

Cherry Blossom was among the first motifs that I stitched when I began learning Japanese embroidery nearly fourteen years ago. It is possibly the motif that I have stitched more than any other, in more guised than any other.

From the very first, it embodies the fundamental rules that apply to the order of stitching in Japanese embroidery; with few exceptions foreground elements are stitched first.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

On each Cherry Blossom there is one petal that is in the foreground of all others. This is the head or the face and this petal is stitched first. The petals either side of the head are the hands and they are stitched next, usually with a one point open space between themselves and the head. The remaining two petals are the feet. One foot is always atop of the other, this is stitched next and the underlying foot stitched last.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Even the teeny tiny blossoms on this design by Midori follow those basic rules.

© Midori Matsushima/Carol-Anne Conway

I enjoyed experimenting with different techniques on the oversized cherry blossoms on Kusano-san’s Flower Circle; it allowed me to try out some techniques I had seen in books and at an exhibition in Japan.

© Shizuka Kusano/Carol-Anne Conway

The Cherry Blossoms on the black sake box are done in gold work – one of my favourite techniques. As with the very first cherry flower I stitched, the head is worked first but, before that, the entire flower is outlined with a pair of couched threads.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Then, each individual petal is completed in the prescribed order; head, hands, and feet.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

The blossoms are about the size of a ten pence piece so each petal is on the small side and rather fiddly but not too time consuming to stitch.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching


Татьяна Леванова said...

Просто ВОСХИТИТЕЛЬНО!!! Я в восторге от увиденного!!! Спасибо за красоту!!!

Rachel said...

Maybe fiddly, but so worth it - they are enchanting!