Saturday, January 18, 2014

Meet Queen Bee

I have been asked to design and teach another Or Nue project and I am super excited to get it started. If you are not familiar with Or Nue, it is a goldwork technique, where metal threads are laid closely together so that they completely cover the fabric. The image is created by couching the metal in place with coloured silk threads. It is extremely beautiful, well I think so anyway.
The thing is, it is very, very slow and requires a fair bit of accuracy, so it is not everybody's cup of tea. I like it. Once I start and get into a rhythm of stitching, I find the repetitive and methodical stitching extremely satisfying.
Anyway, enough talk - this is what I am about to start..

Meet Queen Bee. The idea of a bee came from the girls in my last class. Well, they were comparing the brick couching to the look of a straw beehive and it slowly evolved from there. I have had the idea of a bee sitting on a bed of honeycomb since then, so getting the actual design drawn up was kind of fun. As usual it begins with a few rough doodle drawings (I do like the idea of a snail too, perhaps I will do that next?) and then bit by bit it is refined into a final line drawing to work from.
As we all do, I roughly knew what a bee looked like, but flicking through images on Pinterest (oh, how I love Pinterest) certainly helped getting finer details right. Pinterest is so perfect both for inspiration in general and also for finding images to piece a mood board together. 
The vague picture I had in my head of a bee on a glowing background of honeycomb - was a bit like the image copied onto centre of my mood-board. Isn't it beautiful? That glow is what I am aiming for.
 I am now itching to get started. The fabric and threads were ready a few days ago, but the crazy hot weather we had last week simply didn't mix well with super fine silk, so it has just been sitting there - waiting. Today is the day and I can't wait...

I hope you too have a lovely weekend.
To those who are in the one of the fire zones in Australia, please stay safe.
Anna X


  1. I love your design process, with your use of Pinterest and mood-boards. I wish I were in Australia so that I could take your class. I'm looking forward to the on going progress of this project.

  2. This promises to be a very fascinating project! I look forward to watching it develop - and I love seeing how a design takes shape! Chrissie x

  3. I like the way you work too - it's similar to what I do when I occasionally have my designing hat on. Well, I hope my own Needlequest challenge will see me putting that hat on more often in future, but I fear 'twil be a long time before I feel comfy in it.

    I admire the look of Or Nué, but I doubt I'll ever do even the smallest piece. Looking forward to seeing how this one develops though.

  4. An exciting project, Anna! I loved your last Or Nué piece, and the honeycomb and bee are some of my favourite motifs. :)

  5. Love seeing your mood board and some sketches - I'm definitely hooked into watching where you take this project from here. After following your daisy, and seeing the other examples you showed, I'm getting more interested in this technique.

  6. it was great to see how you start with a design. Will you be showing us stitching progress on your blog?

  7. This looks like such an exciting project! Love the images and your interpretation in the threads, looking forward to seeing what fabric you have in mind.