Saturday, May 07, 2011

Polymer Clay Meets Silk Ribbon Embroidery...

... Or how a long lost passion gains new life in my studio. When I was dyeing fabric and creating wearable art, I used silk ribbon embroidery to embellish a lot of my garments.

I loved doing it: pulling the ribbon through the fabric, laying it flat, forming the stitch, pulling it back through the fabric again. Then gently coaxing the loops and folds into shape... instant beauty. Repeat.

I had my Beauty Blinders on, so I didn't see the unthinkable coming my way - the accident that changed my creative life forever. Afterward, my hand stopped working the way it should. No more pulling ribbon through fabric. It wasn't fun anymore, wasn't worth the discomfort. I put the ribbons and big-eyed needles away.

Enter my new passion - polymer clay. I began this new journey in a big way: lots of color, big canes that took all my strength to reduce down. I'll get back to doing that later on, but now I want to work small... very small.

I just need the tiniest speck of clay to create something resembling that old silk ribbon embroidery.

Little malleable balls of color lined up on my table, patience, and some quiet time, are all I need to recapture the joy I felt as I formed that perfect stitch.

Magic happens if you wait for it...

copyright 2011 Shibori Girl


surfingcat said...

delicate and beautiful!

Connie Eyberg Originals said...

I was sad to read that ribbon embroidery is difficult for you now. However, your clay work is wonderful as is everything you do. I'm glad you found something to fill that RE void. Take care, Connie

EADotCom said...

Gorgeous colours and delicate craftsmanship. Wonderful

shibori girl said...

@ Surfingcat: Thank you! That was exactly what I was going for.

@ Connie: I didn't intend this to be a sad post - I guess the fact that I still miss working with fiber crept in as I typed. I really love what I'm doing now.

@EADot: Thank you so much! It's great to hear from you again. :)


Snap said...



somepinkflowers said...

dearest polymer*clay Queen,
you plum left out the part
about being a brilliant sketch~artist
so i am thinking
you are able to still do that...

Here Is


the part
where you have me stunned--
allowing for your talent supreme--
your eyes can see
those bitty beads
you masterfully arrange...

keep up the fantastic ArtWork, missy!

{{ i think this posting
is inspiring, not sad,
as it shows how The Other Door
if we only soldier on.. }}

Gabriela Delworth said...

Hello Kate,

Just fabulous!

~ Gabriela ~

Peregrine Beader said...

What a beautiful melding of the two techniques! I love the gorgeous polymer clay cabs in their luscious colors. Great work.

Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

This new polymer clay work of yours is SO beautiful! And thanks so much for the peek into your past. Your fiber art was gorgeous. Kinda helps me understand the amazing beadwork. Indeed, magic.

shibori girl said...

Thank you so much Everyone. It is amazing to me, how things evolve and happen, if you only let them...


rochambeau said...

That ribboned embroidery work is just stunning, Kate!! Way to go~~


AsteropeBC said...

I really enjoyed reading how you developed your polymer clay style. Your work is just beautiful! I am really glad you have found a way to recapture your enjoyment of ribbon embroidery.

LW said...

Pretty…I love your clay work.

Silk ribbon embroidery is a lovely art and I am sure you miss it, but the work you do now is stunning…


Stephanie said...

Look how the old translated so very beautifully to the new!!

The jewelry has a very old Victorian feel to it...just lovely!

WhiteRabbitJewelry said...

Kate, I just found your blog and it's wonderful! I love your polymer clay pieces and especially how you combine it with bead embroidery!
Wonderful. Very inspiring to be on the same team with you.

Fete et Fleur said...

Dearest Kate,

It's inspiring to see how you have overcome. Your work is delicate and so very beautiful. I still have your beautiful ribbons and have practiced working some into embroidered flowers. I'm not the best at it, but I will keep practicing.

Thinking of you today . . .