Overlays Are Tricky!

The panel with the View of the Excavation, with kumihimo braid pinned over the intersections.

A further episode in the Difficulties of Assembly…

I spent hours – literally – making some kumihimo braid to trim the main Amarna panels, and finally finished the second three metre length during the MathsJam weekend in November. Rejoicing at this success, I pinned the braid in place over the interections in a panel, sat back, and was rather pleased. I thought it looked crisp and added a lovely finishing touch. WooHoo!

Oblique shot of the same panel, with braid, and the overlay cast over the top.

Then I put an overlay over the top and I was Most Disappointed. Rather than adding a neat little finishing touch, the braid seemed to shout over the embroidery, breaking up the panel into the constituent parts, rather than stitching it together.

That’s very odd. I’m not sure that the photograph really conveys the impression, but it was very striking in real life, and when I checked my perception by showing the piece to my mother, she agreed. She’s not been living with the project as I have, so I can trust her not to be jaded and seeing difficulties where none exist!

Shot from behind of the photographer concentrating on the Amarna panel set up with an overlay hanging in front of it.

So that braid may need to find another home.

As you can see, the Trickiness of The Overlays continued into the photoshoot. It’s as well that the braid was not included in the end – there’s a length of fishing line in the horizontal gap, tieing the panel to a very solid weight to keep it upright. And the framework from which the gauze is hanging was macgyvered on the spot. See what I mean about the photoshoot turning into a creative collaboration?


  1. Sue Jones says:

    I am sure you will find another good use for the braid. The panels do look more of a piece without it. My other thought is that, however you hang the overlays, they need to be removeable. So people can look at the panels themselves at a better distance for seeing the details and textures. (Especially for those of us with less than perfect sight.)

  2. A kumihimo braid is very beautiful, but also quite outstanding with its rich texture. It obviously wants to be seen. Hide it behind an overlay and it will cry even louder!

  3. Karen says:

    braid takes so long to make but I’m sure you’ll find another use for it. The panel with overlay is looking really lovely.

  4. Carolyn Foley says:

    You didn’t know it at the time but you were making braid for another important project. It will show itself soon.

  5. Linda says:

    I think I see what you mean. I’m sure the braid will be handy for another project.

  6. Alex Hall says:

    I’m sure the braid won’t be wasted, but it must have been truly irritating to have done all that work and then realised it just wasn’t having it. But on a positive note, you are now several hours of braid making ahead on a future project!

  7. Jillayne says:

    Very interesting how the overlay changed things but it’s just as you say. I wonder if it’s because all the other colours get pushed back disproportionately to the braid when the overlay is in place, or do they become a bit softer whereas the braid keeps it’s colour strength? An interesting puzzle…