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Topic: string or nué portrait project  (Read 2021 times)
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« on: December 07, 2010 01:15:38 PM »

it's been forever since I posted a finished project, mainly because it's been forever since I finished one... 2011 will be much better for stitching I hope  Cheesy This is a punked version of a goldwork technique called Or Nué - normally gold wrapped threads are couched down in straight lines and silk couched over to create a picture. It's used a lot in ecclesiastical embroidery. For this one I used a ball of string from my kitchen drawer (until I ran out and had to find some more string) because I wanted a rougher look, and I wanted to use the flowing couched lines to try and bring out the idea of lots of wrinkles and laughlines.

I couched down two different kinds of string, using matching threads just for the background and a dark brown DMC to create the outline. The two strings acted so differently when couching that it was difficult to always get even and smooth coverage. It wasn't entirely what I was trying to achieve with this technique, but I'm pretty happy with how it worked out in the end.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2010 10:25:53 AM by kittykill » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010 03:12:51 PM »

I can't believe I'm the first to comment on this! It is amazing. Totally rocks!
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010 03:21:47 PM »

Absolutely wonderful! I think you've invented a completely new needlework technique. What will you call it?


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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010 06:36:41 PM »

I've done traditional or nue and it's crazy tedious! I did the Unicorn in Repose from the medieval tapestries series with gold filament and silk couching thread. Took forevAr!

I like your interpretation especially the fact that you didn't do the straight lines of gold thread. It adds even more texture and depth to your piece.

Nice work!
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010 08:44:02 PM »

this is absolutely beautiful! i think the wavy lines worked really well for portray the wrinkles and laugh lines and also a  sense of time passing. i also enjoy how you let the string break the border of the piece and left them unfinished - it gives the feeling that though this person is obviously aged, their time is not nearly finished. i can only imagine the time you put into it! i do think it could be improved by a different background color. the red is a bit intense for me and i noticed it before i even realized there was a face. maybe a less saturated red?

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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010 05:59:09 AM »

Thanks everyone, I'm glad you like it. I'd love to claim I created a new technique but don't think I'd really get away with it... in the end it's just a bit of a corruption of a very old one and basically only couching. Maybe I can claim the kitchen-drawer string bit? Wink
A less saturated red may work better. In person it's not quite as intense as the picture appears (although still pretty bright) and the face is a bit more obvious. I used the red initially because it was the only fairly tough fabric I had around and this was just a "playing around" piece. Initially I was considering trying to plunge the string through the fabric, so I needed something strong. After dropping that idea, I tossed up a few others, eg. trimming the string to a square and then cutting a passepartout to fit it exactly and thereby hide the red. I decided in the end that I really like the extra dimension of the uneven string edges, which meant accepting the red background. If I did it again with this colour scheme (beige string and brown), I think I would also go for something a little less intense.

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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010 01:35:49 PM »

Ok, that is SO freaking amazing, I *MUST* try it!!!!!

That is a major work of art, and I happen to adore the red background. It makes a really striking contrast to the rough-looking texture of the string.

« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010 07:54:45 AM »

This is amazing. I love the texture and I agree, leaving the edges loose gives it a wonderful free-ness.
And this is a little silly, but it reminds me of Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas because the string makes me think of the pattern of bark and wood grain on trees.  Cheesy

This rocks!
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010 01:27:56 PM »

I love or nue! but I really love your twist on it! awesome Cheesy
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