Friday, October 14, 2005

Speaking of shisha

This is shisha, the mirrors, not shisha, tobacco smoked using a water-pipe. This work is mostly chainstitch (all stitches may be seen in much greater detail by clicking on the image to view it in enlarged form). The shisha-work is done using straight stitches to hold the pieces of mirrored glass, about eight of them, a square of them and then another square of these stiches done at points between the first four. These were then pulled back into a sort of circle using blanket-stitch all the way around. This was done in DMC pearl cotton. The colors haven't faded much after all this time. I used a compass holding a piece of chalk to lay out the circle and then scribe some points. It's too bad that all this work wasn't put onto a garment of better quality. Scanning this made me wonder whether Jack cut out and saved the wonderful French-knot sheep that he embroidered onto a pair of dungarees. I was just reading a piece the other day about knitting as an activity by men, who are now beginning to do more of it in public. Embroidery was kind of a craze for everybody back then, just because of all the available time, and like knitting or crochet-work, it can be a convivial activity, carried out while people are gathered just to be sociable and converse. I'm remembering RVH making his woolen braided rugs and also doing bargello work.


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