Dreams of Amarna – Approaching The Final Decision on the Map
You may recall that the first large element of the panels for Dreams of Amarna that I am stitching is a map of the site shown in Mary Chubb’s book.
It was easy to decide that I wanted to use reverse herringbone stitch for the contours of the high ground around the site, and unbroken lines of chain stitch for the Nile.
Now, however, I am near to finishing the text, and I can’t really put off my final decision any longer.
Areas of cultivation are shown on the original map using stars drawn roughly using four strokes. The obvious choice is to use Star Stitch, which exactly replicates the symbol used by the cartographer, but I don’t want to do that.
The aim of my stitching is not to reproduce a painting or a drawing, or even to reproduce those effects. I want to use embroidery techniques to produce impressions and effects that couldn’t be produced any other way, but that are inspired by the subject.
I finally settled on a stitch, after considerable thought and several hours leafing through my (never-ending shelf of) embroidery books – tête de boeuf stitch. But I’m still trying to work out what thread to use, and at what scale. So I’ve worked several test patches, and when I’ve finished the other stitching (the text and the villages), I’m going to wash and iron the whole thing and then sit back and look at them for a while…