Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sitting down on the job


I've started the background on the Shaker wall clock canvas using DMC white cotton floss in basketweave. Boring? Not really--basketweave doesn't bore me, and since the walls in Shaker dormitories were usually a smooth, white finish, this seemed to be the best choice of stitch.

I've extended the stitching a few rows beyond the border of the design area to accommodate framing later. While the margin line does show through, it will disappear under the lip of the matte once the piece is framed.

Now on to the chair! Shakers were among the very first in America to produce chairs for sale on a large scale: the earliest Shaker chairs offered to "the world" were produced at the New Lebanon, New York, community in 1789. Always striving for a perfect product, they selected hardwoods like cherry and maple for construction, not only for their durability but also from a practical standpoint--these woods were indigenous to the area.

My chair was constructed of Impressions #1112 in a combination of tent and gobelin stitches. I first practiced on doodle canvas with one strand and soon realized I wouldn't sit on a chair that flimsy! I then tried two strands--much better! Since it's a silk/wool blend, Impressions offers the sheen of silk to imitate the look of well-oiled wood and the loft of wool to make the stitches stand out from the background. I then added a "rush" seat of DMC #5 perle cotton #436 in a mosaic stitch.

I'll continue stitching the background so I can treat myself to working on the clock itself!

3 comments:

Possibilities, Etc. said...

I'm loving this piece! The chair seat looks real. I agree about basketweave not being boring, as it's a nice break from the "fancy" stitches. I like a good balance of both when working a painted canvas. I look forward to the shawl.

SFSunset said...

How did you decide on the view of the chair? At first glance, I thought it was a ladder. (I know a ladder back chair.) Looking straight on at an object like this is a real challenge to draw and stitching it so it has depth is another challenge. I really like your designs. The colors are so clear and vibrant.

Anne Stradal said...

How did I draw the chair? I chart everything on graph paper first, and the chair was graphed right-side-up. Then it was easy to paint it upside down, with the lowest rung hooked over the peg rail. The legs of the chair were deliberately splayed out so, especially upside-down, it wouldn't look like a ladder. Glad you like this one!