|"Mrs Richard Yates" (detail), Gilbert Stuart 1793|
Hand stitching looks such a gentle art.
Done with skill it can create rich decoration, 3d forms and invisible bonds.
I've always loved textiles and fabric crafts but often lacked the patience required for good hand sewing.
My body tense, fingers sweating, stitches tight and far from invisible.
As with any craft, of course, the secret lies in learning the appropriate techniques
and using the right materials and tools for the job. My number one favourite thing is learning new skills - or learning just how to do something well.
I love to see the hand of the artist like here in the beautiful brush strokes and tones of this
detail from a Gilbert Stuart painting.
Soft reflective sheen from the silk dress and cloth.
Dexterous, elegant fingers working in fine detail.
The full portrait of Mrs Yates is not very flattering, however.
I don't think the 18th &19th century fashion for frilly bonnets did mature ladies any favours.
A source of much enjoyment for Rodney Pike in his not-so-gentle art.