opus mariss

Embroidering through Time and Space

Central Asian Boar’s Head Project

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This project has kind of stalled. Hopefully if I go ahead and post it here as a work in progress it will get moving again.  The original piece dates from the 7th century c.e.  It is a silk on silk embroidery from central Asia, most likely the area where China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan all come together.  It is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Here is a link to the original piece http://www.metmuseum.org/collections/search-the-collections/72582?img=0


detail view of Textile with Boar’s Head Roundels, silk on silk embroidery, 7th century, central Asia, 22 1/16″ x 18 7/8″. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York accession # 2004.260

Silk on silk embroidery –

for my recreation, I have chosen to use a stranded silk embroidery floss from Needlepoint INC. Silk. I picked this particular silk thread because my local embroidery shop carries this line in a wide variety of colors. I also feel it has a better sheen than Soie d’ Alger.

The colors I am using are:
#565 Iris Blue Range
#352 Pistachio Green Range
#984 Taupe Range
#867 Pumpkin Range
#992 Black & White Range

For the ground fabric I finally settled on a silk Matka in “Oatmeal” from B. Black and sons in Los Angeles. The fabric is amazing and comes in a wide selection of colors. I found that it was a little “soft” for embroidery, and lined it with a linen gauze which gave it the stability needed. Also the fabric has a very soft hand similar to a cotton flannel and you do need to take some care when stitching not to rub against it more than necessary.

cartoon on vellumdesign basted onto ground fabricpaper removed split stich outline
Outlining has begun. Split stitch over the basted design lines. Basting threads are removed after they are stitched over.
starting to fill in colorpositioning lines for peacocks

Starting to fill in the color. Split stitches following the contour of the boar’s head.
The embroidery of the central roundel is finished. I am now moving on to the four peacocks. Here is an image of how I positioned the peacocks in relation to the roundel.
boar with basting lines for peacockfilling in the birds
Outline of one of the four peacocks basted onto the ground fabric.

Starting to fill in the peacock’s body. Again, using split stitch following the contours of the outline.







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