Making the Birch Forest

Embroidered silver birch brooch

I’m very pleased with this, but it also feels a bit ‘un-me’ in a weird way. The whole thing seems very elegant and contemporary and somehow a bit of a departure from my normal style?

Now, the photos are as usual crappy, but I have a good excuse this time, as it’s because the embroidery is so pretty that the photos came out so shit. Because I used super fine super shiny silk thread, silver – naturally – this one in fact:

fine silk

The silver one on the right and the ivory one on the left. They reflect the light like crazy! Having done a few stumpwork pieces I wanted to do something more 2-D, and in good ol’ split stitch. For the composition, I realised it is the whole tree, but very much the bark of the birch that is so iconic and so trying to do a whole mini-tree would have been unsuccessful. So I took this picture as the inspiration and used my new rectangle birch frame (ha!) and did a tight close up of a few trunks;

birch-tree

So started off drawing a few guidelines freehand:

birch1

birch2

Then filled them in in split stitch in silver fine machine silk.

birch3

At this point I had a happy accident when I came to finish the embroidery on the trunks and couldn’t find the silver silk. Bloody cats. So impatient that I am, and realising that as my house is currently more cardboard fort than house (moving day approaches) I had better just use another similarish colour and hope for the best.

birch4

Turns out the addition of an ivory silk edge gave a great depth to the trunks and so I overstitched the other two to give the effect of light hitting them.

Then we get to the exciting bit.

birch5

NOW it really starts to look like birch trees. I used dark grey cotton and overstitched the trunks pretty randomly to give that lovely papery silver birch look. Then finally, I added some chunky french knots in some gorgeous heavy weight variegated silk in beautiful autumnal colours so represent the leaves:

birch6

There’s a silver birch next to my bus stop and I remember a few months ago when I was thinking about this collection, that when I did a birch I wanted the golden autumn leaves that look so delicate and like they are suspended in air.

birch7

birch9

I took the flash off for this last one in an attempt to show you the colours and sheen better, but I suspect it will only be when I do the proper shoot that you’ll get the true effect. I just love that this is a Birch forest in a birch frame.

One last thing; This will be the last post and indeed the last embroidery for a couple of weeks as we relocate to the other end of the country on Monday/Tuesday! Fear not, once we have internet restored, and stitch pit established, you can look forward to normal service and more creations. If you’re not already, please ‘LIKE’ my Facebook page as I will probably update on there a bit in between.

9 thoughts on “Making the Birch Forest

  1. I really enjoyed your post yesterday and had a feeling that threaded birch would follow. I love White Birch trees and you did yours proud.

    Good luck with the move. I’ll miss your posts and look forward for you to be settled into your new spot.

    Happy Valentine’s Day.

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