Wednesday, October 16, 2013

From Down Under, Above and In-Between

Gary Clarke, needlework designer and instructor, has been with our Guild since Saturday.  

I was looking forward to learning from Gary since:  A)  It's not very often we get teachers from Australia,  B) He's a guy-- it's not very often we get those either, and C)  His work and compositions intrigue me.


Gary's designs play with layers, textures and depth.

The study piece in our workshop is entitled Desert Fan...


Desert Fan is stitched using variations of shadow work with stitches on both the top surface and the underneath surface of organza, a stiff yet transparent fabric.  Gary has added paper for the fan ribs as well as a pleated paper fan underneath the organza to give the composition depth and interest.  

Our stitches were intended to give the appearance of the Budgerigar  (Budgie for short), otherwise known as the parakeet...


Budgies are found wild in the drier parts of Australia and have survived there for over five million years.

Christy started working on the full fan...


While Carolyn and others, including myself, decided to work a smaller pair of birds.


In this pic you can see how some of the herringbone stitches are on top of the organza while others are stitched below...aka shadow work...


Adding paper behind the organza to finish the design adds another element of play which opened up a whole new world for me.

At the EGA National Seminar, Gary taught this hot air balloon...


And this Fan Tail (thanks Leeann)...



Both are good examples of how he used the transparency of the organza to great effect in creating a composition that draws you in and keeps your interest.

For those that are interested, Gary has a website here.  And has this book Embroidery Illusions available on Amazon.

Today we're continuing to work with textures and layers on a whitework elephant.  The technique is new to me and very different from the Desert Fan.  I'll share that next time.

Happy day everyone!

14 comments:

Mary Ann said...

Wow...such an interesting technique...so delicate. If it was me I'd be doing fairies...just perfect for them:) I made fairy wings in a very similiar manner with layers of organza and different threads. Different application of course:)

Wanda Eash AKA "Craftymule" said...

I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

carolsylvester said...

Aren't Gary's classes fun! I took his Kookaburra class at the EGA seminar in Naples, FL a couple of years ago. Loved it.

I also have several of his books, with plans for pieces from them.

Carol S.

etbrodelepapillon said...

Oh! I have this book. I never thought the writer was a man. I like it very much. I'm selling it craft fairs, and I don't understand why it is not selling well. My guess is because of the use of chicken wire on the from page. It stops people to open the book. That is my explanation. It's a pity because it is a good book.
You are lucky to have a class with him.

Margaret said...

Those birdies are so darned cute! And beautifully executed, too. :-)

Catherine said...

All beautiful, but that Fern Tail made my heart happy!!

margaret said...

can see you are getting so much out of these classes

dreaminginstitches said...

This was all completely new to me - what a revelation - I can feel some experimentation coming on! Thank you

Createology said...

How unique to have a man teach stitching classes. His works you have shared are amazing. The layers really make the entire scene come to life. Embroidery Illusions Bliss...

Leeann said...

It's a Fantail not a Ferntail as it opens it's tail into a fan shape.
It is one of our native birds here in New Zealand. It is a very friendly little bird, they fly around you when you go for a walk in the Bush (forest). It's like they are joining you for your walk, but really it's because they catch the bugs you disturb! They have a sweet little peep peep sound.

Gerry Krueger said...

I adore the "fan"tail. Using the netting as part of the composition is inspirational... I would love to experiment with this.... Ger

Suztats said...

Wow! This process certainly is very effective, and I really like the results. Sounds as though you're having lots of fun!

Julie said...

How exciting! Our chapter hosted Jane Nicholas 2 days this week, I would have been very happy to learn from Gary as well. His style and techniques fascinate me.

Mosaic Magpie said...

How incredibly lucky you are to be able to take these neat classes. The work Gary does is stunning.

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