Working alone for most of the day can be great for production. 9.15 in the workshop and I’m fully prepped (night before), fingers at the ready and the machines are co-operating and I press ‘play’ on the DVD. I work fast. I’m completely absorbed in what I’m doing and it’s only my growling stomach that reminds me that I need a break. These golden bubbles of time are very satisfying and here is an example of what this time looks like.
I’ve made these brooches for sometime and reserched their shape from pictures and drawings, never having actually studied them in real life. However, a trip this year to France offered me a great opportunity to watch and photograph them.
Still and quiet. A magical moment for me.
This particular one was happy to be photgraphed and here he is.
Above. This shot was pure fluke. No idea how I took this.
Dragonfly brooches are fiddly and time consuming to make and require a lot of stitch work on their wings. However, this effort is well worth it.
Here are a few photos of the process (in a nut shell)
a. The template is designed and the various components i.e. wings & body cut of of fabric.
b. These are then bonded to a stiffened cotton and the stitch work begins using freehand machine embroidery, various cottons and a lot of patience (a full dictionary of swear words is also essential). This is the most time consuming stage and one where if I’m not fully focused can end badly, often involving my fore finger and a fast moving needle! (Blood isn’t an attractive colour on a dragonfly wing).
c. Sequins stitched on and ready to be cut out.
d. Once cut out they are then bonded to felt and left overnight to dry.Brooch bars are then stitched on and finally into their boxes and sent on their way.
On a good day I can make 20 brooches but after that I’m desperate to get out of the workshop for a change of scene and a smell of fresh air.
It’s easy to see why dragonflies are a bit special and despite the brooches being a chore to make, the end result is worth it.
Sometimes I struggle to say goodbye.