Dreams of Amarna – More Planning

First Panel - basic design layout

First Panel - basic design layout

Second Panel - basic design layout

Second Panel - basic design layout

It occurred to me that now would be a good time to create some diagrams to show the design ideas that I have, so that when I refer to “backgrounds” or “side panels” it is clear what I mean.

The basic fabrics are dress-weight linens, one in a sandy colour (the High Desert is not that far away from the site) and the other two are in different turquoise shades, rather like faience.

I have not decided how wide the side panels will be, or how they will be attached. In some cases the design elements will be stitched separately (as the Faience Hippopotamus was) and then applied as a patch, and in others they will be stitched straight onto the base cloth. Again, I am not sure how I will decide what happens in each case. At present the project is progressing on those bits that I have made a decision on, and the more difficult matters are being left to one side.

John Pendlebury was fascinated by the medieval period as well, and over dinner the first evening they were at the site, Mary Chubb describes how they doodle a coat of arms for the dig. When I was a teenager I was fascinated by heraldry, so that was definitely going to be part of one of the panels; the fez is for an official at the Cairo Museum who acted as the intermediary between the Egypt Exploration Society and the Museum. The violets spring from Mary’s efforts to learn Arabic. More about that when I get there!

In reading the book, one feels as though Mary is haunted by the leading characters of the past – Akhenaten and his Queen, Nefertiti. She even finds herself imagining a visit by Nefertiti to the Dig House in the days when it was merely one of the houses of Aketaten. That is why all the activity on the panels will be overlaid by a faded “head shot” of either Akenaten or Nefertiti, screenprinted onto the finest and most transparent gauze I can find. I may decide to offset these a little so that the heads are over the tawny linen and all the bright elements around the outside have only the merest veil over them.There’s going to be a finishing problem right there, because I want the gauze to hang in front of the panels and not be stretched over them.

Still, we all like a challenge, don’t we?


  1. karen says:

    Oh I wish I was technically minded and could create a fantastic drawn out plan as comprehensive as that! My brain won’t function like that no matter how much I chastise it!

  2. Elmsley Rose says:

    Aha! It’s great to see it laid out 🙂

    The gauze headshot sounds fantastic.

  3. Janice says:

    Aha! Seeing it all like this I can understand how some edesign elements, such as the hippo could be appliquéd on, whereas I’m assuming the map and the connecting London and Armana panels will be worked driectly onto the fabric. Looking forward to seeing the finished work!

  4. Action Ma'am says:

    I guess the finishing will depend on how you intend to hang the panels. How about brackets to hold two curtain poles one in front of the other? Then you can hang the gauze with out having to attach it to the main panel. It also gives you scope for creative edging to make the gauze hang straight and fancy finials for the poles (perhaps like my dragon banner) not to mention turquoise and gold paint for the poles (slow down AM, it’s not your Dream).

  5. Jan says:

    This is a very big project! And to start laying it out already is wonderful! I can picture most of the various areas just from your descriptions. This is going to be so much fun to watch. I hope you are working on some more of the smaller elements and playing with colors now.

  6. […] of Amarna panels! Equally, however, I need to develop the styles of embroidery I will use for the panels and their assorted images. So I am never sure, when working on these small elements, whether they […]

  7. […] or the stitching that I will want on the final panels (remember this is to be a design element for the edging panels I described a little while ago), or even the scale, I am thinking of working this design several times on different fabrics, with […]

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