Tuesday, February 16, 2010

La Maison Leleu

I am a lover of books. I can't seem to own enough books. My library pages probably have at least 3 lifetimes of inspiration. The contents vary with information spanning centuries. Among my most recent passion is 20th century decorative arts; specifically, French decorative arts and fashion. It is a shame that I do not speak French as many of my books are in French and I have to restrict my appreciation to wonderful photos and my vague understanding of words I somewhat recognize.

The history of La Maison Leleu is the topic of Leleu by Francoise Siriex. It is a richly illustrated book showing the work of the family...I am especially attracted to the embroidered upholstery, wonderful rug designs and curtain embroidery of Paule Leleu.

The embroidered border above is my own interpretation of the style - it is based on a leading edge of a curtain in an interior from 1957. My border is sewn using my Tajima Neo2, digitized using my Pulse software. The repeat is 23" and uses three types of stitches, some layered for an iridescent effect. There is a joy about this work - much like the work of the 50's with it's international flavor and it's modern primitive point of view.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Trapunto With Satin Stich

I've been in the studio this afternoon, trying to photograph embroidery for a new mail piece. I do all my own photography and I particularly like to take close up shots of trapunto. The technique is so wonderful and the resulting relief creates such a rich textural element that I had to share these photos.

The top photo features a detail of a Turkish inspired design - a mixture of shapes further enhanced by satin stiches on the smooth matte wool sateen surface.

The next photo is of a pattern inspired by Hawaiian quilts. The pattern is repeated in a circular fashion from the center. This design has been used not only for pillows but also as a chair back.

You can see why I like trapunto so much - the effects are wonderful.