Blue Plate Special

Trawler half and half lighting

This picture of a North Sea trawler is 4.25 x 5.5 inches.
The sky is purposely featureless; I wanted this to be all about the water. All the sewing is by hand, but if you look closely you’ll see that the trawler is made of pieces of hand-painted ribbon, glued or stitched to the background. The bow wave is some chopped-up yarn and the rigging is thread, mostly half-thickness.

The seagulls were a bit of a saga. Initial experiments with silk resulted in a frayed mess, and I felt thread would be too bulky. I decided I wanted Tyvek for its acid-free, non-fraying qualities, and ordered samples from a couple of suppliers ages ago…but I’m still waiting. I discovered FedEx use Tyvek for their envelopes, though, so I got hold of one and it turned out to be ideal. I tried cutting tiny gull shapes out of it, but found that I got the most natural-looking results by cutting two separate wings and overlapping them slightly. And I still have enough envelope left for a lifetime’s worth of seagulls.

More than any I’ve done before, this piece changes appearance depending on the light. Any direct light will pick up the sheen of the threads like crazy, as above. So I’ve included a shot below of the picture in more dull lighting. You’ll notice the gulls stand out more and it looks quite grim.

Trawler unlit



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