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Wednesday, October 28

Red Velvet

What, were you expecting cupcakes?
I haven't mentioned it in a while, but I have been teaching Stitch and Surface at Fleisher for the past few weeks. Today we tried our hand at Velvet Embossing. The principal is that using heat and pressure, the pile of the velvet is crushed and so the pattern is visible by the differences in how the light hits the surface of the velvet. All you need is velvet, rubber or wooden stamps, and an iron. Please note above- hot irons and synthetic fibers aren't a good mix, unless you want holes in your velvet!
The higher the pile, the more visible the pattern, and medium to dark-colored velvet seemed to yield better results. Cotton velvet was okay, but Silk velvet was stunning.
I got my wooden stamps at Eyes Gallery on South Street (check the front room on the second floor). They're beautiful stamps and have the most exotic smell...
I have one student in love with the grid..

These two red pieces are by Francis Elling. He had a great collection of butterfly stamps he shared. He's been interested in making pillow tops, so he played with a more formal design, above, and a more random pattern, below. He discovered that by changing the pressure and time under the iron, he could create a contrast in "focus" with the embossing. The longer and firmer, the crisper the image, but the shorter, softer, and with some movement in iron application a "ghosting" appeared.
Francis also brought in his first completed embroidery project today, below. He purchased a silk pillow top and created his own design based on a microscopic view of a sea creature (sponge? coral?). By playing with the photocopy machine, enlarging and reversing the image, he was able to create a repeat pattern to transfer across the pillow. I applaud his ambition and ingenuity in making something so beautiful and unique for his home. Can you believe he's a first-time embroiderer?
Stitch and Surface will be offered in the Winter Session at Fleisher as well, and we always explore new topics in embroidery and surface design every semester.

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