When I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum earlier this month, I bought myself a copy of Art Forms from the Ocean by Ernst Haeckel, a German biologist. It’s subtitled The Radiolarian Atlas of 1862, and it is full of his illustrations of these miscroscopic organisms, which are simply beautiful in their detail and complexity.
I knew that I wanted to embroider something from this book, but my embroideries are inspired by his drawings, not exact replicas of them. I filled a couple of sketchbook pages with images, worked further on some, and finally chose several as good possibilities for embroidery. Here are two:
Also at the Gardner Museum’s gift shop, I saw zippered pouches with very simple embroidery–simple line drawings–selling for $48. Hmm, I thought. I like embroidery, and I like making zippered pouches. How might I combine the two? The above piece of embroidered linen will hopefully become a pouch. I’ve always made zippered pouches using separate pieces for each side of the outer and inner portion, but here, I’m trying out having one continuous piece for the outer portion, so the embroidery can float over the bottom fold. I’m not sure how it’s going to work out. It’s completely possible I’ll ruin this embroidery trying out this idea; sometimes that has to happen.
This little piece is also destined to be a pouch, so I’m showing it to you even though it has nothing to do with radiolarians.
I stamped the linen with a hand-carved stamp using screen printing ink, then I added buds using embroidery. (Those are all French knots.)
I’ve got several pouches in the works, using the zippers I have on hand as I try out the ideas. They are all either stamped, embroidered, or both, using my own drawings and designs. I feel like I’m moving incredibly slowly–I’ve been sick all week, too, which doesn’t help–but I’m getting there. Once I have these first few, I think I’ll have a better idea of where I might go with them.
I wanted to link with Dawn for her making and listening post, but I think I was mostly listening to the college basketball tournament while I was embroidering these! I guess that will have to count for this week.