Friday, September 20, 2013

Thinking of Sugarplum Classes

While I was in Paris this summer I searched out some wonderful spots for shopping.  One of them was run by a wonderful gentleman who has relationships with many of the artisan potters and basket makers around rural France that make speciality items of cookware and vessels.  I was taken with the wares - so lovely and better than what you find normally.  And the baskets were fantastic.  Always on the lookout for something special - one basket makers items thrilled me.  These three little baskets had been made as conceits, not quite large enough for anything but a very few little sewing tools.  At 4" long they made my heart skip at their detail and delicate nature.

I was able to garner one of the blue one's for myself.  Then I gingerly asked the owner of the shop - would the basket maker ever make more for me?  For a class?  Can you imagine it as part of an ensemble of lovely stitched goodies?  What do you think?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Beaded Basket for Inspiration

I had the distinct pleasure of viewing four beaded baskets in person last weekend on a tour of collections.  I was struck by the differences in treatments/construction.  The baskets were all rectangular but the sides and bottoms were varied.  Some sides were wrapped wire with added sprigs of beaded flowers.  Others were hard with a thin sheet of wood between the thick wires and wrapped with fabric, the beaded sewn to the fabric.  The bottoms ran from embroidered, to bead embroidered, to a lattice of thick wire with peyote woven motifs that were flat inside each square.

I have more inspirational pictures for those who are working on the beaded basket contest below.  If you don't know what that is - there are only 20 basket forms left of them - so read the contest rules soon.  (If the demand is great, I might make more).

These pieces are from auction house records.  The second and third image are from the same piece and show a square net side for the basket, a really unusual and fun way to form the sides. Light and airy but patterned with motifs.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Finishing a Casket

I thought that this pile of pieces from a Double Casket might be interesting to see.  These pieces are the drawers and other loose items from the interior of a double casket.  I was sanding them to get them ready to accept the handmade paper that wraps all elements of a casket caracas.  When sanded, the wood looses is oxidation layer and it bonds better to the wheat paste used to glue the paper to the form.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Production Locks Have Arrived

Wow - it has been a long road, about two and a half years!  But we are finally at the point where the final production locks for the caskets are arriving in volume.  I have already taken delivery of hundreds of pieces of hardware for the first batch of wooden casket forms that Richard is making.

These locks shown here are called Lock 1 type.  They are used for lids and are the most frequent lock found on embroidered caskets.  It is quite exciting to get them and a big relief as well to see the final elements coming in.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Beaded Basket - Up Close

This is a test post to see if you like this new format for The Embroiderer's Story.  I am torn and trying to figure out how to keep the archive information from the old address.  But Wordpress has become too onerous to care for and a bit buggy.  I am being overrun with spam at the blog as well.  Leave a comment here or at the current blog to let me know what you think.
For those who are working on the beaded baskets for the contest, here are some pictures of the original basket close up to get a sense on how our reproductions are stacking up to the techniques of the past.