Starting On Akhenaten

Starting Akhenaten

Starting Akhenaten

Naturally, once I’d done the Head of Nefertiti, I wanted to do something of Akhenaten. The question was, what?

But I needn’t have worried. Almost before I have posed myself the question, an idea had sprung, fully formed, into my mind, rather as Nefertiti had done. It’s going to be a sort of unholy, but with any luck, truly gorgeous, combination of trapunto and goldwork.

I’m basing the design on the four colossi of Akhenaten, all of which are damaged in different ways, allowing me to put together something that should resemble an undamaged one. Then I started to forage among my silk fabrics to find something suitable, finally choosing a sort of pinkish orangey-brown which reminds me a bit of pink granite. The colossi aren’t made of pink granite, but the Egyptians did use it, and besides, this is a work of artistic interpretation!

Outline Stitched

Outline Stitched

Since the idea is such a mash-up of techniques, I’m not at all sure whether it will work, or what order to do what in (if you follow me!). I’ve started by stretching the calico backing fabric in the frame, overlaying it with two layers of a fairly lofty synthetic wadding and a denser layer of cotton, and then stretching the silk over the top.

Then I stitched the outline, using close back stitches. It doesn’t look very good at this point, because there is extra wadding where I don’t want it.

But the next stage is a bit scary, so I had to clutch my courage in both hands…


  1. Sue Jones says:

    This one will be fun to watch growing! The silk is a beautiful colour (the photo doesn’t catch it properly). I think you’ll have fun with this one, once the wadding is where you want it.

  2. Be brave (and hurry—I want to see MORE). Hugs!

  3. jenclair says:

    I like the dimensional element you have achieved. Eager to see the next stage. 🙂

  4. I am sure this will be another stunning piece.
    With so many layers, won’t the stitching be rather hard?
    What are you going to do with the extra wadding you don’t want? Cut it out? Then you need to clutch your courage in both hands! Good luck!

  5. I am metaphorically holding my breath for you! Looking forward to seeing what you do with the excess wadding.

  6. Catherine says:

    I can’t wait to see how this develops! It sounds like an interesting and challenging piece

  7. Erica Marsden says:

    Rachel, you are such a trooper! I can’t wait to see what Akhenaten will look like as he appears under your very skilled fingers. I hope the mix of techniques will turn out to be perfect for your vision of what he will look like.

  8. Lady Fi says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how it turns out.

  9. Carolyn Foley says:

    I agree, be brave. We are all so afraid of doing the wrong thing yet that is how we learn.

  10. Lin says:

    Yes please, let’s see more of this soon! xx

  11. Deborah says:

    I look forward to seeing this progress, so far you have a great start.

  12. Alex Hall says:

    Wow, that is certainly an interesting combination but if anyone can pull it off, then you can. :o)

  13. That silk is a lovely shade of pink. I can’t wait to see how this develops. I always learn so much just from reading how you go about creating in the real world the vision you have in your mind.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!

  14. Karen says:

    Trapunto and Goldwork….what a wonderful thought…