Saturday, 1 March 2014

Needlequest 2014 - March - technique - goldwork

Welcome to the third month of the Needlequest challenge and the second technique: goldwork.  Like all embroidery techniques, goldwork is a huge topic and a month is really only enough time to have a small taste or two, but that's what the challenge is about - sampling something new and seeing if you want to take it further later on.
Goldwork can be done in gold, in silver, in a host of bright, metallic colours and also as a part of a piece alongside silk, rayon, cotton or other threads.  The pieces decorating this post are from my own work with metallic threads in the past.  As you can see, there are some more traditional, entirely gold/metallic pieces and some that are a combination of both glitzy shinies and more everyday materials.

Many goldwork pieces rely on a lot of couching, which can be done with either quite thick and heavy threads or finer threads to achieve more delicate effects.  The body of this fish is couched around, but the fins are created with long straight stitches, (the yellow and orange part is worked in rayon thread - Anchor Marlitt).

If you're interested in books on goldwork, some good titles to consider include:

* Country Bumpkin's 'The A-Z of Goldwork'
* Hazel Everett 'Goldwork - Techniques, Projects and Pure Inspiration'
* Ruth Chamberlain 'Beginners Guide to Goldwork'
* Helen McCook 'RSN Stitch Guide: Goldwork'
There is also a section on goldwork in 'Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques' by Sally Saunders et al.

As ever, there's a good list of tips, techniques and book reviews over on Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread gold work page.

One thing to bear in mind when trying out goldwork is to make sure to cut your metal threads with specially toughened scissors, or even wire cutters if you have nothing else!  Don't use your regular embroidery scissors, unless you want an excuse to buy a new pair...!!=)

Of course, goldwork samples and pieces don't have to be large or complicated.  In fact, for the purposes of our challenge, small and/or simple are probably best.  I plan to work two of the simple butterflies from the Hazel Everett book (more on that in my next update posting) and the design my own small piece, which will go on to be mounted in a card for friends' wedding in mid July.

What about you?  What will you create?

Text and images © Elizabeth Braun 2014


Elaine said...

Thanks for organising! You can count me in :) I will continue with my Goldwork bird and pomegranates

Rachel said...

Good luck to all . Goldwork can be a fun technique, and really impressive..

Queeniepatch said...

You have some very attractive samples here and I hope many will take up the quest.

zenuwpees said...

MAGNIFIQUE broderies felicitation Marie-Claire

Anonymous said...

you have many beautiful and exquisite pieces.. thank you for the lovely post :D

Arlene White said...

Elizabeth you know I love goldwork, I will try and design a new piece this month.


Wendy said...

my goldwork is actually copper! I bought 2 kits at Harrogate and I'm starting with the easier one which is on canvas. if I get on with that, I'll try the next, which is silver work.