I began the crewel project of the bird design by trying a new technique. In an attempt to make the stitching look like feathers on the crane, I used fly stitches worked very closely, one on top of the other.
As I stitched, the bird metamorphosed into a phoenix. It was magical! Not until all of the blue “feathers” were in place could I see it and then – suddenly – there is was!
It’s the same phoenix that’s on the porcelain from China that stands on the table in our living room.
It’s the same phoenix in this beautiful mosiac from Uzbekistan…
come to life again on the linen twill, stitched using Renaissance wools.
The angle of the stitches give the feathers motion.
The story of the phoenix is that it’s reborn in fire. It’s a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a beautiful tail of gold and scarlet. It has a long life cycle – hundreds or even a thousand years. Near the end of it’s life, it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix arises, reborn to live again.
This story was the inspiration for one of my favorite pieces of music to play and listen to – the Firebird Suite by Igor Stravinsky. For the most beautiful melody (and French horn solo!) go to the link, wait a few seconds while you get to see the beautiful chandelier on the ceiling of the hall here in Berlin, then turn up your speakers and prepare to hear the phoenix rise out of the ashes!