Tag: Mountmellick work

Stella’s Birds – more thinking about the design

Vaguely triangular design in gouache of three allegorical birds

You may recall that I said last time I mentioned the design I am trying to work out here, that it was proving very difficult to balance three birds not looking the same way, and that making them look the same way didn’t work at all.

Then it occurred to me that – obviously! – the two earlier birds would be facing towards the one that’s singing. Partly because we always turn to look where the noise is coming from, and partly because that is their aspiration.

You will notice that all of the rough designs I’m playing with here are in colour, which is not at all in keeping with my idea of using Mountmellick work. That’s because at present I want to find it easy to distinguish parts of the design. When I’m a little clearer about the shapes and their flow, I’ll start moving towards a more tonal patterning that will help me to think about stitch choice.

In the meantime, I am playing with shapes and layout in very vague terms.

Eventually, I want the birds to be quite medieval and slightly mad in appearance, and I’m thinking of trying to find some suitable thread – a round, matte cotton in two or three thicknesses – in a variegated colour that will help me to create the look of carved wood. The challenge is in finding it. This is not something easily bought online with any confidence, and so many of the thread companies don’t go to the shows anymore.