Dreams of Amarna – The Antelope Panel

Antelope Carving - Photo copyright The Egypt Exploration Society

Antelope Carving – Photo copyright The Egypt Exploration Society

When I finished the Hittite Amulet, I didn’t have another piece ready to go, but feeling a little jaded with metal threads, I didn’t want to move straight back to the Tudor Rose… So I went rummaging in the wonderful selection of photographs that the Egypt Exploration Society allowed me to have copies of to use as reference, and found a photograph of a small piece of stone, carved with part of a frieze of antelope.

Antelope Frieze


I transferred the design onto some handpainted silk using the prick-and-pounce method, and went over the lines with a pencil, then framed it up over a calico backing, picked out a skein of hand-dyed twelve strand silk and thought about stitches.

In the end I decided that what had attracted me to the photograph was the simplicity of the lines against the slightly uneven texture of the stone, and so I should make my version absolutely simple too.

Antelope Close Up

Antelope Close Up

With that in mind, all the lines will be in reverse chain stitch, worked as small and as evenly as I can manage without using a magnifier, for all the lines. Reverse chain stitch is so much easier than ordinary chain stitch when the fabric is in a frame!

I am thinking of using Hungarian Braided Chain, which I worked on the Crane Pot, for the edge, but I am also considering the possibility of not stitching a frame at all, but instead stretching the silk over a piece of skirtex cut to the shape of the stone.

This is a real contrast with the Glittering Nightcap – very simple and very “minimal”. Almost like a palate cleanser after a heavy meal!



  1. Sue Jones says:

    Very impressed with your choice of treatment. The random silk and the slubbed fabric gives it just the right amount of variation without being overly distracting. Is that a Stef Francis silk thread? I’m very fond of those subtle sludgy colour-mixes.

  2. Penny says:

    What a beautiful choice for a stitchery. Its going to be so beautiful and I love that you’ve kept it in the subdued colors of the original drawing.

  3. deanna7trees says:

    i had to look up reverse chain stitch. turns out i’ve done it but didn’t remember. love what you’re doing here. i have something similar in my pile of ufos with cave paintings….wonder where that is.

  4. Beautiful delicate stitching. I don’t think I have done reverse chain stitch – I shall have to consult my book.

  5. Carolyn says:

    The choice of silk for your piece is not what I would have chosen but it is perfect. I have never considered stone and silk as being alike but they are, they both have a similar textural appearance. As for using reverse chain, that is a winner.

  6. karen says:

    you are certainly doing justice to the simple lines…..I am looking forward to watching this one develop…

  7. Janice says:

    I agree with everyone else – the handpainted silk is perfect for representing the stone. Definitely a palette cleanser after all your detailed stitchery of late!

  8. Andy Lloyd Williams says:

    This piece is so elegant. The 12 stranded silk thread is perfect – I wonder how many strands you are using? I love using this thread: the colours are so subtle. Can’t wait to see the antelopes progress.