After testing out a ton of embellishments on the phoenix, I think I’ve decided that less is more. The piece is really about the free flow of color and the sense of movement, especially in the tail. Embroidery destroys the organic feel and the subtle shading by adding sharply focused lines. In the head, that’s good; it brings the piece into focus. Elsewhere, it’s merely distracting. So I think I will embroider the eye and crest of the bird, and maybe outline the beak, and leave the rest of the bird untouched.
I also tried scattering a small number of beads throughout the piece, but while they didn’t hurt the piece, they didn’t improve it much either. So I am leaving them out.
Here’s a picture of some of my experiments:
You can see how the sharp lines of the embroidery distract from the flowing shades in the tail.
I will actually be weaving a second phoenix – my brother and sister in law both loved the piece, so I am making a copy for them (very appropriate, since it’s a memorial to our mother). The upside of weaving two copies is that I can then enter them into both the Complex Weavers and Convergence exhibit – the exhibit dates overlap, so there’s no way I could do it otherwise. I’m not sure what to do for titles for the duplicate pieces – do I give them the same title since they will be identical? or slightly different titles? I would love input on that from those more experienced than I.
Also, I finally finished my sea turtle scarf! Here it is, front and back:
I’m glad to have completed it – I wove it near the beginning of 2015, but it languished for months because I couldn’t find beads in the right color. Then my mom visited, and insisted on going to all the bead shops in the area to find the right color. Finally, we went to General Bead in San Francisco together, and found the beads. Since she went to so much trouble to find the beads, I figured I’d better finish the project. So here you go, Ma! I hope you like it, wherever you are.