Friday, April 6, 2012

or nue project

Not that I need another project or anything, but....  I am intrigued to death with a goldwork technique called or nue.  It is pronounced 'ornway', not phonetically 'or nu' with a long "u", as I have been doing for a while (doh!). I found the correct pronunciation in a book- A~Z of Goldwork.  So, what is it?  Or nue is a technique where an area of fabric is covered with (usually) a pair of fine metal threads, laid in close rows.  The metal threads are couched in place using fine colored silk or cotton single strand thread to achieve a colored or shaded pattern.  The background, where no color is needed is couched in self-colored thread.  The couching stitches are worked closely together where intense color is needed and further apart for softer shading.  This is all taken verbatim from the A~Z of Goldwork book section on or nue, because it's too hard to explain in my own words.  Anyway, I want to frame up a piece of silk and use a colored pencil to shade in the areas of where I want color and outline the rest.  I ordered a piece of silk from Berlin Embroidery Designs

What else I needed was some recommended silk threads.  These are soie d'alger threads in colors I am considering for my project.
Here is my choice for couching down the silver metal threads where color is not needed.  I'm not sure if to go with the grey on the right in soie d'alger or the blanc on the left.

And because money does not grow on trees in my life, and I cannot afford real silver or gold threads (which are available, believe it or not), I ordered the much less expensive Kreinik Japan Thread #5 in silver from the same website listed above, plus one in gunmetal just because I love gunmetal, and one in gold (imitation!) that I will use for the base metal.  I will only use the silver for the project piece.

After intense searching and thinking about it and looking through art books, photographs, ready-made project kits and other sources, this is what I ordered to work my first project.  I love whales and this one has such pretty intense blues that would look really lovely on silver.  This image came from a tattoo art download site.  I paid $1.99 for the image.  Isn't it beautiful?  It will have to be shrunk down to size so I hope it doesn't become too compact because this project is intended to be rather small.  If it is too large, I will use all my silver threads (and lose my sanity with all the couching) in one go.  Time to soak and dry the silk, lace up my slate frame and get started.  I'm a little afraid of it, so we'll see how it goes.  Apparently quite a few needles are used for this at the same time, so the threads don't constantly cross on the back.  Woo, hoo!! Wish me luck!

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