Monday 13 August 2012

Stella Artois goldwork label WIP

Lettering, logos, and if you spend long enough staring at something – I think it starts to creep into your subconscious. Something about the elaborate design of the Stella Artois logo must have appealed to me the day I dragged the bottle back from the pub and sat it on the side in my studio, where it’s waited patiently for a good month now, awaiting its inspirational purpose. Being relatively uninventive I decided to replicate the logo entirely in or nue, a task made more challenging by the swirling gold detailing and the slight drop-shadow of the lettering itself that demanded accurate capturing.

I fully recommend surrounding yourself with inspirational items and allowing them to infiltrate your creative headspace (and I’m not simply referring to the contents of said bottle.)

(life-size: 9x10xcm)
I start by drawing out the design onto the background fabric. The couching thread here’s going to be silver, which means any other areas of colour (including all the red) must be ‘coloured in’ with dense rows of stitches. By colouring in the background in the corresponding colour, not only does it give you an accurate ‘colour by numbers’ to work from, it helps disguise any minor discrepancies: deviations where the thread doesn’t couch down quite parallel, and a tiny glimpse of background is left uncovered. Threads can pass along the back of the work but I wouldn’t recommend having them loose in this manner for more than an inch or so.

After the design has been worked, the ends are plunged through to the back: potentially the trickiest section, here. After the gold band of edging, the ideal is for the silver ends to disappear exactly where the gold stitches securing them stop, for otherwise you’ll be left with nasty silver highlights at the ends of rows where they don’t belong. There are two tricks to ensure this doesn’t happen. One: when working the edges, make them as accurate and the gold curves in as smooth a line as possible. Two: a great deal of patience in needle placement when the silver is threaded up and actually plunged.

This label isn’t finished: next stage, it requires the fine black outlining around the gold leafy swirls and the trumpet. These are far too narrow to have been worked as part of the or nue, so will be added later in backstitch over the top. Then I intend to cut out and hem the entire logo, and attatch it inconspicuously to the side of the bottle. The end result shall be a bottle that at a glance looks perfectly normal, but actually has an exquisitely embroidered label that shimmers when the curve of the bottle catches the light.
And then I’m possibly going to go and drink one to celebrate.

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely stunning...I can't even begin to imagine all the hours of work you put in!