Huge excitement here as I prepare for my first visit to the Knitting and Sewing Exhibition
on Saturday, which in line with my current fascination is right up my street as they say. Except its all the way away in London unfortunately. I particularly want to see the display of work by Eirian Short.
You will all be pleased to hear that my embroidery of a dragon is coming on leaps and bounds. I have had a lot of trouble with my silver thread technique, but that is all behind me now. Actually, I found the design for my dragon in an old sketch book I'd kept since I was eighteen. My wonderful memory informs me that I made the sketch from a picture (called Apolcalyptic Dragon) in a book entitled Romanesqe and it was labelled, Peebles Art Library - which is a publishers rather than a public building, I'll have you know.
It seems embroiderers like dragons, because last week I was leafing through Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book and found an astonishingly similar dragon embroidered on a thirteenth century work called The Hildesheim Cope (in the V&A). My dragon has a lot more detail, however, and I'm not sewing it for a man of the cloth, as it were.
I'd originally drawn this dragon to illustrate a poem, but I never got round to carrying out the project. The poem was one that caught my eye, by Brian Patten - A Small Dragon - begins like this:
I've found a small dragon in the woodshed.
Think it must have come from deep inside a forest
because it's damp and green and leaves
are still reflecting in its eyes.
The kids at school would do well to copy that one out for their handwriting practice to show them the two forms of it's/its. But then they are all pretty sloppy and would probably get them muddled up when they were copying it out. I wondered how difficult it would be to incorporate lettering into embroidery. It would be good to have the whole poem stitched out by the dragon. It would make people look at the sewing for longer, if they read the poem and they might even like what they read. There is a big tradition of incorporating written words into needlework - eg samplers, Bayeux tapestry etc. I'll have to see.