We started our day as usual with Jan teaching us a new embroidery stitch, this time the Closed Cretan Stitch. We all agreed that it was a pretty stitch and would be very versatile in borders and making leaves. Donna commented that she had always made leaves with a satin stitch and that this would be her new go-to stitch for leaves in the future. It was particularly attractive when embroidered in variegated thread and depending on the length of stitches used on either side of the braided centre line and how close you made the rows of stitches it would have a variety of looks.
|Mark making on our layered pieces.|
While we were small in numbers, we were huge in enthusiasm when it came to our main FOG Tuesday project.
As always when working with a tool that burns, we had to be mindful of good ventilation and NOT triggering the smoke alarms. In this case it was soldering irons, melting, fusing and mark making our sandwich layers of stitched acrylic felt, synthetic organza, Angelina© fibres and film, lamé, Lutradur©, Evolon© and other materials that would burn or melt.
|Wire wool to clean soldering iron tip.|
Remember to have a container with wire wool in it to clean the melted residue off the tip of your soldering iron.
The basic technique was learned from the two books by British textile artist Margaret Beal. You can access two short videos by Margaret on YouTube.
|Stitched layers by Jan.|
The more layers the better as it gives you more areas to “excavate” your final piece. Once you have all your layers, stitch a pattern on the surface using cotton thread. This is important as you do not want the thread to melt while you are burning out the pattern.
|3-D flower "stitched" by Chris.|
Keep a look out for metal items that can be used as stencils with the soldering iron. The daisy stencil was a decorative insert for a Ball Mason jar and can be found at craft stores. You can see that you can use it for both a positive and negative outcome. You will also need a metal ruler or straight edge and a surface to work on. I used a square of marble; others used a glass cutting board.
|Metal items to use as stencils: Ball Mason jar insert, metal drain cover, vintage drill bit measuring tool and draftsman's metal erasing shield.|
|Fibre layers ready for burning.|
I can see this technique finding its way into future textile and mixed media projects.