I wove like a madwoman yesterday – over 3,000 picks! and finished the phoenix just before dinner. I wet-finished it after dinner, dried it overnight, and voila!
It is gorgeous – the photo really doesn’t do it justice. What looks like dull brown in the photo is actually black speckled with brilliant reds and oranges.
Here is a closer look at the upper half of the phoenix (as usual, click for the larger version):
Here’s a closer look at the cremation urn and the tail:
And here is a really close-up view of part of the tail, that shows the colors more clearly:
And, finally, here is the original digital painting again:
You can see they are quite different. The woven piece doesn’t have the pure colors and subtle shading of the digital painting, but the digital painting doesn’t have the wonderful visual (and physical!) texture of the woven piece. Of course, it’s difficult to judge the woven piece from a photo, because a photo is digital – you can’t touch or see the cloth up close. (For one thing, what appears to be pure black in the photo is actually black speckled with blue – it “reads” as a textured navy blue, and really pops the oranges in the phoenix.) The woven piece is far, far nicer than the photo. I do hope to have better photos soon.
My next task is to pick out embroidery threads and beads to use with the phoenix. There are some places (like the head and body, and maybe a few feathers of the tail) where I would like to add detail. So I plan to embroider it with silk thread, metallic threads (including some made with real gold!), and some of the cotton embroidery floss that my mother left me. I’ll also likely add some beads from my mother’s stash. Today I plan to drive up to Needle in a Haystack, a needlework shop in Alameda, to pick out additional threads. I’ll probably also weave a second copy of the more complicated parts of the phoenix, so I can experiment with embroidery, etc. on the sample rather than the finished piece.
I’m leaving Monday to visit family (and help my brother sort out my mother’s things), so I want to settle the supplies this week. That way I can bring them along, and work on the piece while traveling.