Friday, September 23, 2011

I finished Step #4 of the Master Craftsman Crewel program a few weeks ago, and it's now washed, blocked, pinned to the acid-free board, accompanied by the stitch diagram and thread samples and all other submission requirements, and on it's way to the judges. Before I put it in the post, I took a few photos. Unfortunately, the really nice digital camera is not in the house at the moment (the nerve of Duncan to keep his own camera with him!) so I had to use my
Droid Phone, which I must say take
s pretty darned decent photos!

The purpose of this step was the exhibit expertise in techniques of soft shading, predominantly long and short stitch. A minimum of two other stitches also illustrating shading were to be included. We had three designs from which to choose, and I chose the smallest for a few reasons. I felt it would best showcase my technique, and I could absolutely get it finished on time! I did not want to miss the October first deadline and be another 6 months behind! So here is the finished piece!

I was inspired by peacocks, but the peacock has a royal blue breast and did not lend itself to my color scheme choice. Then I found some photos of a kingfishe
r, which had the red-orange breast and the turquise feathers. I decided to make a new bird out of the two, and my kingfisher-peacock was born!

The breast is long and short, done in 5 shades of Appleton Orange-Red. The feathers are Appleton Bright Peacock, and the peacock "eyes" have a bit of Royal Blue, and Kingfisher at the center (loved that the Appleton color names were right in line with my intent!) surrounded by the Orange Red. There are highlights in the feath
ers of the Orange Red (in the Bright Peacock) and Kingfisher (in the shoulder feathers). The face of the bird is done in semi-circules of buttonhole stitch in Peacock, with lighter shades worked in to enhance the shading. (additiona
l stitch #1) The branch is done in gradations of Elephant Gray outline stitch (additional stitch #2).

Here are some close-ups:

Breast shading in Orange Red
Feathers in Bright
Peacock, with highlights of Orange Red and Kingfisher

Head showing top-knot in all colors and showing cheeks of semi-circular buttonhole in Peacock. The beak is long and short in Elephant Gray. The eye is Charcoal with a flick of off white for the glint.

Tail feathers in Bright Peacock, with 'eyes' of Orange Red, Kingfisher, and Royal. The 'eyes' look a bit like an advertisement for natural gas, but I'm happy with them anyway!

So, now the waiting game begins. If I pass this step, they'll mail me #5 (of a total 6) and I can start working on that. I know it will be an adaptation of a Jacobean or Elizabethan period piece, showing research into the period, but I don't know what the design will be. The research shouldn't be a problem as I've done a lot already and have many books to help me.

Wish me luck on #4!!