Friday, February 26, 2010

Mermaid day 3 - final day of class

So today we stopped with the rocks and started on the mermaid and fish. Much of the day was spent going over historical stumpwork slides to see the faces and grottos and fish, and even a frog that everyone loved. Tricia even had an x-ray of one mermaid so we could see the padding underneath. There was lots of discussion about how well endowed the mermaid should be.

We made muslin pads for needlelace. One great technique, that I didn't know about, was to put contact paper over the muslin with the needlelace outline. Then you don't have to worry about catching the fabric as you stitch. This is the lower body of the mermaid, the tail outline is to the left, the skirt to the right. I will also be doing a fish head and tail in needlelace - the body will be sequins stitched onto the felt form.

Then we started on the mermaid form. We will stitch the mermaid on the muslin and then cut her out to place her on the grotto. Here is the mermaid with padding for her tail and arms and such.


Next was her face in the mirror she is holding. Another piece of mica will go over this. I've stitched the comb in her other hand but haven't taken the photo yet. Tricia had a wonderful photo of a period comb, a huge double sided thing made of boxwood with intricate carving.
We then went over the technique to stretch the Purl Purl to couch over the mica to form the water once our mermaid is mounted in her grotto. And then we discussed various embellishments that were used. Some of the grottos are filled with tiny pearl and tiny coral beads. Others have huge stones that don't fit in, but I'm sure it was a sign of status to have fancy stones sewn onto your stumpwork. I'm going to wait until I have my rocks done before I decide what to do. Go natural with real shells and tiny pearl-like beads? Or go over the top with lots of semi-precious colourful rocks? We'll see.
So as you can tell, there is still alot to do, but I'll post as I get more done. Probably not for a couple of weeks though, since I have the mounted coif for Agecroft Hall and I need to get some flower motif instructions done so it is ready to be passed on to the next person at our March meeting.

4 comments:

SilkLover said...

This is so cool. You must be having a great time!

katiejayinpa said...

Quite amazing...i look forward to seeing more of the process. IT is wonderful that you blog so thoroughly about how everything is being done.

Elmsley Rose said...

Mica *over* the stitching of the face.....how cool!
And I love her little belly!

I'd make her with lots of endowment myself, because she is a fisherman's traditional fantasy woman - even in the traditional tales (what are those seals that shed their skins and attrack the men then drag them underwater....?). They are not famous for being women underwater, they are famous for being 'sirens'.

Margaret said...

Some people were suggesting a gray haired saggy mermaid, but personally, I think mermaids never get old and saggy. What use is it being a magical creature if you are going to look bad. I added some more endowment today, but I haven't had a chance to do more since I'm catching up on all that was neglected while I was gone - one advantage of an online coure is you can fit things into your everyday routine.