Monday, December 16, 2013

Or Nue' My Way

Japanese Tea House by Leigh Designs
From keeping an eye on other folks' Or Nue' embroidery and reading everything I could get my hands on, it seems clear that Or Nue' on needlepoint canvas often runs into trouble trying to a) manage all those different colors of couching silks and b) trying to keep the pairs of gold threads you are couching straight and covering the underlying canvas.   There's not much I can do about managing the threads used for couching colors except by recommending you use lots of magnets to park your needles out of the way when you aren't using those colors, but I can help a little when it comes to choosing gold threads for the base.  I just finished a piece of Or Nue'-inspired stitching on a Leigh Designs Fash Insert (which is 8.5 inches long and 4 inches high on 18 count canvas) called Japanese Tea House.  What you see above is the unstitched design.   Look at the gilt painted eaves of the tea house.  I stitched the eaves using Or Nue' as you see below.

Or Nue' Underway

Yes, the photo is upside down.  I turned the canvas to make it easier to reach the eaves areas.  In the photo the left side is done for the larger eaves area and I've laid a line of gold across the right side just so folks could see what I was doing.  That single line has been couched with a brick stitch every other canvas intersection.   I worked half the eaves, then finished the other half.  The single line is for display purposes in the stitch guide.  Normally I would work an area from the top down.  

What you don't see in the photograph are the magnets I used to park my threaded needles out of the way when I switched colors.  

What you do see in the photo is a single row of Kreinik #8 gold braid, laid in a channel between two threads.  I couched it down every other thread using one ply of yellow, orange, or gold Petite Silk Lame Braid or a Kreinik #8 copper. I worked one row at a time, laying my gold thread, then couching it into position, before laying the next gold thread.  The couching stitch was a simple brick stitch pattern over two threads.  Pulling the Petite Silk Lame Braid tight straightened the underlying gold thread into a straight line against the row above.  The main problem I found working the design this way is that the  painted canvas is hidden from view by the gold thread you are couching, so sometimes it was difficult to figure out what color I should use for the brick couching stitch.  I compensated for this by having a color copy of the canvas by my stitching chair and not worrying too much about what color.

If you compare the finished side to the unstitched side, you will see I lost some of the detail in the intricate scrolling pattern.  If I wanted to keep that detail, tent stitches and perhaps a little couching of the scrollwork would have been a better technique but I didn't mind if I ended up with a somewhat pointillist look.  The end result is a lot of muted sparkle, perfect for a painted and gilt building.

If you want a sharper look, choose a canvas without so much shading.

I hope you you play around with Or Nue' and see what fun things you can do with it on your canvases.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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@ Copyright 2013 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.

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