In fact I managed to get the whole bone done on Sunday afternoon. Well, I mean I started it about 3pm and finished at Midnight. I’m an idiot. It was intense. My hands hurt for 2 days. I just get completely drawn in to the one by one by one approach to this kind of canvaswork.
So anyway, then I did the black background over the following couple of evenings, all in all I estimate 15 hours of work, not including making the pattern.
It is tent stitch again, this time single ply stranded cotton, on 40 count white Newcastle Linen. 3,264 stitches dude.
The things is, almost from the start, I didn’t honestly enjoy doing this. If you’ve ever done any kind of counted stitching you know there is a certain level of focus and concentration you need to keep on track and make sure you stitch the pattern accurately. Times that by 100 working this small. I am very fortunate to have a big anglepoise magnifying lamp to work through, I have all kinds of needles you could think of and hundreds on hundreds of colours. And you know I love my fanny frame. Despite having all these great tools, the stitching is just so bloody tiny. I felt quite drained by this piece. I had a tension headache for a day after it was done.
Also I feel quite disappointed by the finished thing. It definitely needed a background but now that it’s done I can’t help feeling like the bone looked better when it was just floating in mid air. It’s ok, just feel a bit ambivalent about it.
Linen is a bitch. As it has no elasticity in the fibres, and because I framed it up fairly sloppily (I’m an idiot, like I said) and didn’t realise said characteristic as not worked on it before, I managed to achieve uneven tension and so the finished rectangle had one of the corners distorted slightly (you can see it in the pic with the penny). Even pressing it afterwards didn’t help. This also meant the composition was off. I had charted it so there would be enough of a slim black border around the whole thing, but as you can see the edges of the bone meet the frame.
If you’ve stitched the background the whole thing becomes so stiff that you can be bold about trimming it almost to the edge (again, see above). This was helpful in the mounting and I actually did achieve a much better and totally clean finish. But all in all this still leads me to the conclusion that counted canvaswork done in minature isn’t going to be suitable for jewellery mounting – I mean not for me, it’s not like it’s impossible or anything. So ultimately I need to be choosing fine fabrics with less integral stiffness and in the colour I wish my background to be, or I paint the fabric to get this.