Getting back to Akhenaten

I’ve not written about the Colossus of Akhenaten for a while, but that isn’t to say I’ve stopped thinking about it. Unfortunately Akhenaten is proving obstreperous (as in life, so in embroidery…!)

The Crook
The Crook

I decided to try to sneak up on him by playing with details such as the crook and flail regalia.

I don’t want these to be couched to the fabric in bits, I want them to seem like miniaturised regalia, so I’m planning to thread various coloured purls onto wire and then poke the end of the wire through the fabric to the back.

This heavy purl – called “Rope” on the Golden Hinde website – seems to work perfectly for the crook, but single wire wasn’t strong enough to support it, so much of the experimentation was to get the right number of strands. I’m so glad I have proper goldwork scissors – the rope is tough and springy stuff.

Flail Experiments
Flail Experiments

You may recognise the materials in some of these experiments for the flail!

The two on the left use silk-covered purls in blue, with heavy gold pearl purl. The two on the right are coloured and gold purls, some of those used in the chipwork on the belt.

The potential handle is a gloriously stiff, over-the-top purled pearl purl in blue and silver, named something like “winter spiral”. I have my doubts about it in this context, because it’s silver rather than gold, but we’ll see…

Regalia Placement Experiments
Regalia Placement Experiments

I couldn’t resist trying the crook and flail trials in place.

I’m happy with the crook, but the flailing bits of the flail are giving trouble. None of the options really looks the right scale – the purls are too small, the pearl purl may be a bit too heavy, and the “winter spiral” handle doesn’t look quite right, either.

So I have some more thinking to do. Again…


  1. Elizabeth says:

    Wonderful experiment, Rachel with lots of possibilities! 🙂

  2. One of the most enjoyable parts of creative embroidery is that you have to solve problems.
    The crock looks perfect.

  3. Sue Jones says:

    Hmm, the crook is excellent, I reckon that’s good to go. As for the flail handle, in the close-up photo where you only see a little of it, it looks fine. In position on the main piece, it looks ‘wrong’ simply because it isn’t dead straight. It needs to look like a solid object. The poor chap doesn’t want a floppy flail. The dangly bits are probably better than you think, too. The version with two turquoise and two dark beads looks the best to my eyes – the colours are lively and it seems in the right proportion to the handle. Silver and turquise against the warm tone of the background make a pleasant contrast.

  4. Jen Mullen says:

    I love the dangles are great! Wonderful details!

  5. Hmm, how about making your own “rope” by wrapping pearl purl around a stick? This way you can make it slimmer and in the colour you want.

  6. Lady Fi says:

    Wow – the crook is amazing!

  7. Carolyn Foley says:

    Questions on questions. I can see you are in for a lot of experimentation.

  8. Catherine says:

    This does seem like a lot of fun, even if you aren’t getting the results you want on your first attempt! The blue is such a brilliant blue colour, it looks lovely against the background colour. You must have a lovely selection of ‘r&d’ elemnts for this piece!

  9. tanya says:

    maybe you could make something solid adn the right size from silver or copper and have it gold plated to sew down?

  10. Alex Hall says:

    The crook looks great and to me, the colours are spot on. I’m wondering if the fact it’s pinned in place isn’t helping with the way it hangs?

  11. Meredithe says:

    Looks amazing to me!

  12. karen says:

    stunning, very, very beautiful Rachel.