Thursday, March 01, 2007

6x4 lives - Fibre Postcard - Egypt

This is my submission for 6x4 Lives this month. I made notes on ancient egyptian jewellery as part of my City & Guilds course years ago, but I concentrated on another aspect of the research project to make my assessed item and didn't use it. (The title of the Resarch Project was Insect Gems - I followed the trail of insect gems back through history to find out when they were popular, which insects were portrayed and why). Browsing through Textile Tuesday I saw that one of the challenges was Egypt and that prompted me to get my notes out again. As a result, I made this postcard.

(click on photo for bigger image)

The inspiration for this postcard came from here:

The necklace is gold flies on a chain from the burial of Queen Aahhotep. The flies were part of an award for valour. Each set of fly wings was cut from a sheet of gold plate. The heads were made by hammering gold sheet into a mould and then chasing the details. The striated markings on the flies backs have been imitated by cutting slots to give an open-work effect. (circa 1540BC).

I particularly liked the simplicity of the gold flies and interpreted that in this string print block.

I took the colours for the postcard from the picture of Tutankhamun's gold pectoral. This featured a lapis lazuli scarab encircled by cloisonne wings inlaid with lapis lazuli, cornelian and feldspar. The stitching around the prints and the border of the postcard echos the cloisonne work on the wings of the scarab.

The background fabric is a piece of dyed wool curtain interlining. The prints were made on polyester by rubbing with Markal (Shiva) paint sticks. The applique was done very simply with buttonhole stitch to echo the cloisonne work the egyptians used so extensively.

I made another string print block without a fly and I had intended to use the two prints together, side by side, to give the appearance of heiroglyphics, but this looked too crowded on the postcard, so I cut out the fly from the first print.

Here's the link for Textile Tuesday Egypt:

and the link for the 6x4 lives Flickr Site:

1 comment:

Micki said...

How cool. I like your string print block. Thanks for sharing how you came about doing this.