Monday, 23 April 2018

TREE TILES (WAP #14; Istanbul)

This month I have been focusing specifically on some of the key flora patterns found amidst the decorated tiles in the Harem compound of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.  Having looked at a couple of flowers & a few leaves, it seemed a natural progression to consider trees for this week's art project.

I have long had a soft spot for trees & the way they are represented, in a visual format, throughout the time that different communities have resided here on planet earth! I even have a dedicated sketch book for keeping my favourites in.  Therefore it will be no surprise that I went absolutely ga-ga over the cyprus tree tiles photographed above!  Tall & elegant, constructed from simple shapes & restricted colours, yet so effective! Their beauty is in keeping with the saying; "less is more"!

Naturally they were the first of my tree tile photos that I wanted to take a closer look at, but I had a problem.... I am only working with an A4 size limit!  What could I hope to achieve with such a minimal amount of space using a technique which doesn't lend itself to very small components, when inspired by such a long thin muse?????

I started with pen & usual... & decided that instead of getting all caught up in the whole of the tree, I would just focus on two sections to explore how the original artisans created this effective design.

After a couple of pen sketches, where I looked at the very top of the tree & the base where it joins the trunk, I decided to save a bit of time (ahem...always a teensy bit of an issue!!) by folding my A4 in half lengthwise & drawing a design possibility directly onto what would effectively become my pattern.  I drew onto only half, because I was going to trace that half onto the other side, open it up , and...voila....a beautifully symmetrical mirror image design!

Once I had something I was relatively pleased with, I chose my fabrics, cut them, ironed them, layered them up, copied the design onto my top layer & then stitched the design through the lot of them.

Because I was using just the one colour to form my outlines this time, and because a few of those lines could easily merge with others close by, I chose to use the stitching as an outline in itself.  This was highlighted by the use of a contrasting variegated thread.  I LOVE threads of variegated colour!  They provide movement, light & interest.  I was relieved to see that my sewing was pretty neat this time... just as well, as the down side of having a contrast is that mistakes are more noticeable!!

It was time to let the cutting back begin.  Here's how it went...

.... and then finally it was time to cut back to the background.

I am quite pleased with how this little piece turned out.  I did realise at this late stage that something was missing, which is why I added the embroidered spiral fronds.  The design needed something in that spot & as it was too late to stitch & cut back anything else, embroidery was the obvious choice.  The spirals repeat the shape at the base where the leaves meet the trunk. Using a repeated pattern like that leads to a more harmonious whole.

I have really enjoyed this month's art projects, & this delight has led me to consider whether I might make a big 'Istanbul' art piece after this series of WAP explorations.  We'll have to wait & see!  In the meantime....I played with my phone app again & this is what I came up with...

...sooooo much fun!! Until next week...happy creating!

Please respect that all photos in this blog post are my own.  Therefore, please don't use without permission.  Thank you.

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