RSN Goldwork Day 7: Chip work

Chip work was, by far, my favorite technique when working the crosier. It’s a bit like doing a mosaic; you have to randomly arrange little pieces of cut bright check gold thread in a space. When it’s done in this way – randomly – the finished result looks smooth and all sparkly. There are other techniques where the bright check purl is applied in a specific pattern, but for this particular application the goal was to have one glittering vine leaf.

For this shape, the outline of the shape was done first using  #1 fine pearl purl. This defined the area where the bright check pieces would be sewn on to the felt and gave me a solid outline to work with.

The first step is to cut the bright check into square pieces – at least as square as one can manage! All of this is done by eye inside the velvet lined box lid I used for cutting my gold threads. I cut quite a few pieces at once and then attached them, rather than cutting the pieces one at a time. It went more quickly that way for me.

Once the pieces were cut, it was time to attach them to the felt leaf shape. Using a waxed double thread, I came up through the felt from the back. I then lifted a piece of bright check purl onto my needle, sliding it carefully down the waxed thread.

Once the piece was in place, I then took the needle back through to the back. The trick is to make sure none of the pieces are attached parallel to one another but always at angles.

One of the things that was the most fun was cutting the pieces to fit in the places that remained after I’d put in the main pieces of bright check purl. It was like filling in a puzzle (or, as I said before, as mosaic) and the feeling of success I felt when everything fit was great! I learned that putting the pieces into the sharp corners first, as I worked around the shape, made placing of the rest of the pieces easier.

When it was finished, I think I took about 40 pictures! It just looked so wonderful, sparkly and …fantastic! One of the best things about bright check purl is that it isn’t as fragile or fussy as the smooth purl. I felt more confident using it, not just in this way but also when I was doing my cut work. It’s a more forgiving metal thread.

What about you; do you like this effect or is it too over the top and glittery for you?

9 thoughts on “RSN Goldwork Day 7: Chip work

    • Hi coral-seas,

      Isn’t it just gorgeous?! I wasn’t sure at first if I wanted to use a color similar to the some that brass crosier lies in at Wells Cathedral but I’m so gold I did.
      Liebe Grusse,

  1. It looks fabulous, Kathy, you are so clever. I am scared silly even to try goldwork. One of the local embroidery business owners (actually the only one) has classes occasionally but because of my health I can’t handle a whole day, so if I do get into it I will have to teach myself. Very scary.
    Perhaps you could pop on over for a holiday and while you’re here give me one or three lessons. After all Australia isn’t all that far…is it?

    In the meantime, keep up the good work. I am not a green fan but the leaf does look good on it.

  2. I love the look. I also find chipping the easiest goldwork technique to do. And the result is very rewarding. Your piece looks beautiful.

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