A few last details

Detail of Akhenaten's face
Detail of Akhenaten’s face

I added a few extra details, to sculpt the face a bit more – tiny stitches in silk, broadening and deepening the eye sockets, altering the shape around the nose, adding more stitches attaching the face.

In fact, to make sure the silk was fine enough, I twisted it myself from a spool of Japanese silk bought for the purpose. I think I ended up with three twisted threads from one length.

The gold kid of the headdress now has an upper edge trim as well. That would have been much easier to do if I could have done it before attaching the kid to the head!

Akhenaten's hands
Akhenaten’s hands

As I was looking over the whole thing, it occurred to me that Akhenaten’s hands weren’t convincingly grasping his crook and flail. Fixing that wasn’t hard in theory – new hands cut from the edge of the silk, padded with padding from the edge of the piece, and attached with more hand-twisted silk thread.

In practice, it took several attempts before I was at all happy with the result, and I could be seen contemplating my own closed fist thoughtfully at various points in the process. Which doesn’t always help as much as you might think, when the aim is something slightly different to a realistic representation….!

Signature on Akhenaten
Signature on Akhenaten

However, I now think he’s probably as finished as I can make him. As I wrote to a friend: I may have doubts about detail, but I think Akhenaten is now as good as my current level of skill will allow. I hope someone will take him off my hands before I get good enough to shudder every time I look at him!


  1. Elizabeth says:

    wow, Rachel, you really made it work … congratulations on a job well done!

  2. I think you are too hard on yourself! You have worked so much on this piece and remade any area you were not satisfied with. Goldwork must be really hard to handle, yet you have made every effort to complete this very complex work of art. Congratulations.

  3. Sue Jones says:

    His hands and hat look much improved. And his face has a lot more character. He does look a little worried now – perhaps he doesn’t want to be taken off your hands too soon, after all the adventures you have had together. Can we see a picture of him in his glory as a whole, or must we wait until you have laced him onto his backing board? Well done!

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    I think you are being over critical of your work. Put him away and come back in a few days. I think you will find he is just fine.

  5. Jen says:

    It must be a relief to finally decide he is finished! I think he is rather remarkable. 🙂

  6. karen says:

    oh my goodness, instead of being so hard on yourself give yourself a huge pat on the back. These are stunning details and so obviously well thought through and tested.