I have been stitching lately but I’m also getting ready to go to Bristol to begin the RSN Silk Shading course with Kelley Aldridge. I’ve learned that being well prepared means I’ll be able to use the time I have with my tutor productively. Learning silk shading is the point, not all the other bits and bobs that need to be done in preparation.
“What needs to be done?” I hear you ask. “You have your thread and your silk and the image is chosen – what’s left to do?”
This weekend here’s what I did to prepare:
1. Go to copy shop to have a high quality photo printed so the colors of the cosmos by Mandy Disher are clear. She very kindly gave me permission and sent me a super high quality image.
2. Print the image using different effects to highlight the shade or tone of the image. Thank goodness for computers!
3. Cut the silk thread to shortish stitching lengths, put them on the thread holder, make tags for each color and put those on the thread holder. This job took f o r e v e r… and I hate fiddly, uninteresting stuff like that. However, it will save lots of time and now I’ll be ready to thread my needles and stitch.
4. Draw and color the image using coloured pencils. This is recommended in the RSN Silk Shading book by Sarah Homfray and it’s a great idea. It makes one really LOOK at the colors and how they all work together. I’ve started but haven’t finished the drawing yet, so I’ll post that in an upcoming post for you to see.
Here are photos of me working out which coloured pencils work for which thread. Below are the “whites”. They’re not really all “white”, especially the one second from the right.
Here are the greys. Except some are more blue and some more purple and some more silver…you get the idea!
Lastly the greens – which aren’t all green. In fact, some of the pencils came from the brown area of the pencil case.
This is definitely going to be about perceiving color and tone and shades. If nothing else, it will be good for my artistic eye!
5. Cut the calico used for backing the silk. Not time consuming but it must be done.
6. Make a list of everything I will need to take to Bristol. The list isn’t that long but I make it early so I have time to go over it a few times, knowing I’ll catch something I’ve forgotten.
What a wonderful, fun weekend! Only two weeks until we fly to London and drive to the village of Wick in Somerset where we’ll be staying. I am SO excited to be seeing Kelley and her students again and be surrounded with other people who love embroidery as much as I do!