The Panel of the Excavation

Cropped Section of the Scene at the Dig Copyright The Egypt

Cropped Section of the Scene at the Dig
Copyright The Egypt Exploration Society

Having completely redesigned the idea and the thrust of the second of the two background panels, I have to design the actual image I will use.

This image is cropped from a photo of the excavation from that wonderful collection of photos that The Egypt Exploration Society has allowed me to use as reference material for this project, and rather than using it just as it is, I’m going to alter it and maybe even add people to it…

There’s a lovely shape and pattern here, but the overall proportions of the picture don’t match those of the Map of Amarna, and they must. I need to make the design taller, without leaving myself with too much empty space top or bottom. A certain amount of empty space can be filled with stitching, but since this isn’t an abstraction of  reality – like the map – but a representation of a moment in time, I need to be a bit more careful about what I do and how I represent everything, including the ground.

Draft Of Excavation Design

Draft Of Excavation Design

Here is the intermediate stage. I tweaked the contrast on the original photo and printed it out at a couple of different sizes, then my mother and I had an orgy of primary school paper collage, arranging and re-arranging groups of people to create a slightly busier, taller, picture of the excavation.

The next stage is to reinstate detail where I need it. The blobby effect of the reduced level of detail is just what I needed while planning the pattern of the excavation, but although the finished embroidery won’t have a high level of detail in most of the figures, I’m not sure that the lack of detail is in the right places…

This is not proving quick to develop!


  1. Lady Fi says:

    A lovely draft – looks complicated though!

  2. Janice says:

    Indeed, no, it’s not going to be quick! But I do like the layout of your design, it has a nice shape and fills the space attractively. Good luck with progressing this one! 🙂

  3. Penny says:

    How large will the stitchery be when completed? You probably told us but if so, I’ve forgotten. My how I admire your attention to detail. Its looking quite enticing – can’t wait to watch it as it becomes to fruition.

  4. Sue Jones says:

    It may take a while, but turning this from idea to finished piece will be fascinating. (And no doubt very frustrating at times.) When you say ‘background panel’ is this going to form the surface behind some of the various small pieces you have made, or is something else going on it?

  5. Carolyn says:

    These things always take time and they change in the process but you have a good beginning.

  6. I enjoy reading about your thought processes when working on a new piece. I like the image of you and your Mum playing with paper, scissors and glue!

  7. Jules says:

    I love your description of the collage method! It will all pay off and the draft looks really good. How great that the Society allowed use of the photos. Are you going to have some kind of linking up with them when Dreams of Amana is complete?

  8. Janine says:

    What a fascinating project! It is inspiring how you are willing to tackle anything. This looks pretty complicated, but I know will be so satisfying once complete. It makes me want to take on one of my photos as an embroidery project.

  9. karen says:

    I love the depth of your investigations, your sampling, your attention to detail….