Amarna Family Group

I recall from both the Hittite Amulet and Christus Natus Est that Or Nué projects are rather difficult to write about. They’re a little like those novels in which Nothing Happens, because one edges slowly forward, with the piece growing imperceptibly – until all of a sudden, it gallops to a conclusion. I am nowhere near that point as yet, but for the benefit of those who prefer reading to watching, I will attempt to provide occasional updates…

Progress So Far
Progress So Far

Here is one of the progress shots.

There are a few details I will have to come back to, as you will see if you click through to the larger image. I may have to adjust Akhenaten’s arm, for a start, and the pale blue I used to mark the creases on his kilt isn’t dark enough to do the job, so I will have to do find another thread and add some stitches.

However, the metal thread on the front of Akhenaten’s headdress shows up rather better than I feared it might. Although, as I said on one of the videos, gold thread couched with gold thread is pretty much Peak Ancient Egypt. Even Louis XIV, never an advocate of moderation in design, would take a step back, crying, “Here, I say, steady on!”

To which I reply, I am steadying on – it’s staying in!

Half-Tone Border
Half-Tone Border

This is a close up from slightly more recently. You can see that I’ve reached the designated edge of the design, and that rather than cutting and plunging my threads, I’m doubling back on myself, so all the gold remains on the surface. My intention is that this will be edged with some sort of braid when it is complete, and attaching a braid through the gold as it stands will be quite hard enough, without attaching it through plunged ends as well!

I’m also leaving the royal blue blocks in a sort of half-tone, with some of the gold showing through. I may decide, when the whole thing is finished, that the border designs need to be full strength if they are to frame the scene properly, but I felt that this might work, and would be an interesting experiment.

But, occasional reservations aside, I think this is going to be a very successful piece!


  1. Meredithe says:

    It is indeed going to be a very successful piece!!

  2. Carolyn Foley says:

    This is looking quite stunning.

  3. This is rather brilliant Rachel!

  4. Catherine says:

    This certainly will be stunning! I certainly don’t envy you with all that couching. I have discovered it is a technique I need to approach in moderation!

  5. It already is successful piece. Your work is impressive. I know very little about Gold Work and just sit and drool over your skill.

  6. Sue Jones says:

    It is giving you some interesting problems to ponder during the “just getting on with it” stages. For what my opinion is worth, I think that the combination of the less-definite border and the turning gold thread gives it a feel of antiquity, of being something saved from destruction and kept, and I would be tempted not to cover them.

  7. Lin Tarrant says:

    Lovely to see how this is progressing – looking good! xx

  8. Lady Fi says:

    Wow – it’s going to be great!

  9. Karen says:

    Thank you, Rachel, for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I am grateful that you took the time to read it! I haven’t been very good about blogging! I read through and marveled over the last few entries on your blog. Wow! Your work blows me away. Such detailed and complicated long handwork projects are not seen very often at all. The pashmina is just beautiful and must look stunning on you! I look forward to seeing more of the Egyptian art work as it progresses. Your work is just awe inspiring! Thank you for sharing!

  10. karen says:

    I remember seeing a lady working an Or Nue panel at the show in Harrogate around 20 years ago. I was mesmerised and stunned in equal measure…… I am looking at this. Beautiful work.