Saturday 28 July 2018

WW1 Sawdust Hearts Project- The Embroidery

It's finally finished. This is the secret piece that has kept me busy for the whole of July. A piece I feel very emotional about, and one that truly captured my heart.

This is my contribution to the Untangled Threads Sawdust Hearts Project. My piece will form part of the Sawdust and Calico Heart Exhibition at Woodend Scarborough from the 3rd to the 30th of November 2018. This is a commemorative exhibition and public event to be held on the centenary of Armistice Day 2018. My heart is one of 1568 handcrafted hearts commemorating 100 years since the armistice. It represents day 218 of the 1568 days of the war; the date the 2nd of March 1915. On this day the British Battleship HMS Canopus joined in the assault missions on the Dardanelles.

The Embroidery

The stitching on the piece (bird and trees) features a single strand of Gutermann black silk thread.  The stitch techniques used are satin stitch for the trees and a variation of long and short stitch for the lark.  Both techniques were sewn using the Crafter's Collection Beading Needles by John James.
These needles are short, sharp and leave no holes in the fabric as you work. They are a size 10 and can accommodate fine glass beads (as depicted in the image above) with ease.


My piece features the pinning technique; dressmakers pins are used to adorn my piece.  This technique is often used for lettering or constructional detail.  My piece features pinning for the lettering and also as part of the scenery under the trees. I used black nail varnish to colour the headpins for the landscape but left the pins naked for the lettering.

Some information about my piece:

Title: Hope Soars on the Wings of a Lark.

Medium: Acrylic Paint on Canvas with black embroidery silk. The piece is adorned with beads and pins.

Inspiration: The vivid red colour used in my piece forms the memory of how I imagined the poet's world looked on hearing the words to Wilfred Owen's poem Dulce et Decorum Est, at the age of 14. A piece I studied in English and one that I can still recite to this day.

The bird depicted in my piece comes from the poem by the English poet George Meredith, and the piece composed by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams; The Lark Ascending, this piece is often interpreted as a piece about the war.

This piece is dedicated to my Great Grandfather William Rae (1888-1951). He served as a fireman for the Merchant Navy aboard the SS Lady Salisbury during WW1. A Merchant Seaman all his life my Great Grandfather died of a Cardiac Arrest on the 4th of July 1951 aboard the SS Tourmaline and was buried at sea, off the coast of Spain.

P.S. the idea and artwork for this piece can be found on my other blog Squirrels Knitting Conquests.

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