A Closer Look at Modern Goldwork – Four

Burden Stitch

Burden Stitch

The next two panels show contrasting materials and techniques.

This first panel is using  purl to create the pattern of “burden stitch“. This can be more or less closely spaced, and while I worked it as a very open, rough texture, it would be possible to use it to create the impression of basket weave. I’ve used Burden Stitch before, but only in thread.

I’ve used Smooth Purl here, threaded on the needle like a bead – which is fairly hair-raising when the bead in question is a floppy tube about three inches long which could easily be damaged and allow the needle through prematurely!

This next panel shows a classic, straightforward couching of imitation Jap gold, worked as a simple doodle.

Couched Gold

Couched Gold

I rather like the effect of this – rather like the old idea of “taking a line for a walk” that is one way of creating the basis for an abstract painting.

It also provides a gentle introduction into the method of couching that can be extended and formalised to create or nue.

As such, I have plans for using this technique and its variants on the Amarna panels!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    That doodle looks like a golden race track!

  2. Action Ma'am says:

    Doodling in gold?! How very plutocratic of you!

    The burden stitch says rail track to me and telegraph posts and telegraph lines and fences and gates and brickwork and stone work and “each a glimpse then gone forever”.

  3. Janice says:

    I love both these samples. I’ve never tried or nue myself but have seen it in magazines and love the effect. I get the impression you prefer more classical images than these modern, abstract designs? Either way, it’s good that you can find something in these techniques that will be applicable to your designs.

  4. christine says:

    Seeing your gold couchwork reminds me of the work my mother did when I was a child – she even used couchwork on a tea cosy for the tea pot – but I thought nothing of it, she was always creating something, and from an early age, so was I. Now Rachel’s trying all sorts of things, too:-)