Sunday, April 27, 2014

Beginning the Gold

When we were at Gulf Wars in March, a friend stopped by our booth to show the results of a class she'd just taken in couching gold thread.  I think the technique is called Or Nué.  Or Nué is a couching technique, where colored thread is used to couch gold passing threads. And its shiny - I mean really shiny.  So I was determined to give it a try.  After all, this is my year to expand my boundaries and try things I've never tried before - at least in terms of artistic technique.  She told me exactly what kind of thread to buy - Kreinik #7 Japan Gold.  So I ordered it online.  It also comes in a variety of colors besides gold and silver, including copper and parrot green.  It took a while to get here, in fact I am still back ordered on some of it.  But the main part arrived last Thursday.  (Sadly I'm still waiting for the copper and parrot green). It comes in 5 m spools and 10 m skeins.  Its really important to gently wind the thread onto a spool if you buy the skein so that it does not bind or kink.  And the results were so very gratifying.

Using a plain, no frills couching technique you lay a double strand and couch it down.  Then you lay another double strand beside that one and couch it so that the couching stitch is halfway between the ones you used on the first pass.  Very simple.  And so important to be very gentle with the thread.  It can kink or unravel before you stitch it so its important to use the minimum amount of tension.  And the results are so fine. I admit my first attempt here staggers a bit and the circle isn't perfectly round.  I'm sure I'll get better with practice. 

It makes a good contrast with the gold spiralling that I did with a tambour hook using DMC Light Effects Precious Metals E3852 (5284) Dark Gold.  Since I have never used the Japan Gold before, I didn't have a good idea of how much 10 meters would cover, so I only ordered 1 skein.  It wasn't enough to make the outer ring as well, but it will make a good start while I order more.

I am also thinking that eventually I will want to invest the time and money to do the Royal School of Needlework lessons.  Ages ago a friend gave me the book but I put it aside in favor of other projects.  Maybe in keeping with pushing my envelope I should revisit it.  It has a section on goldwork.   

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