I started tidying my 10,00s of thousands of files (no exaggeration) for my Anne of Cleves research and it’s lead to two solutions! The first is I was able to stop thinking directly about my pearlwork as the two techniques I know can be proven do not work with my own layer of support.
The tension of the threads holding the pearls in place has tended to pull the curves into tighter curves so now there is an uneven amount of rigid support on each side leading to
I can’t clip and fold the silk under as it frays even with careful running and back stitch to gather it.
I thought about using heat n bond on the underside to clip and then quickly press the silk into it, but the risk is still the same for fraying as there are so many pieces. And they are all curly.
So I thought what about using fabric glue but am concerned about it staining.
So I went back through my written records to write up my Stickelchen essay, and I’m going well, got flow, then realised I needed to include information about styles outside the region, my files are a mess.
I wound up overwhelmed as I have to refamiliarise myself with multiple languages muitlple styles over 100 years and I got a bit lost as to why I was doing that. For my hat. I also organised all the modelbucher in my folders to track down patterns.
I collected enough images of pearlwork (paintings) though to percolate in the back of my mind and yes, I now have the solution. I’ll need to frame up the pieces again, will need some new needles but it will work for what I so desperately need it to do.
I’ll couch the gold I was gifted more than 14 years ago carefully and firmly and then clip each design then use a very dry brush with semi dry fabric glue right on the edge. I can use a nice filbert to deposit the least amount needed and without risk of gluing the couching threads.
I’m doing this as many close ups of pearlwork appear to show a ground fabric cut to shape and applied. In the Bernal portrait this is very obvious. There are two leaves that overlap from the crown of her benet to the brim (near thee overlap of the brim to our right.) Other elements of the design sit on the brim but those two leaves show that this work is applied.
This cropped image also shows what looks to be directly embroidered pearls on the back part of her support layer. As well as little flowers made from smaller pearls and a little gold set jewel in the centre.
So I’m now excited rather than nervous at the prospect of maybe finishing this project by the end of the year 🙂
Oh and the second breakthrough relates to being able to explain figures in a trachtenbuch as being highly likely to be based on reality.