Photo Album

Henley Bridge completed 2012

At first I tried to work the sky diagonally but rolling the work to access the correct angle for this, proved to be awkward to hold in my hand.

Far more mangeable to work the sky vertically

Halfway there

Slowly progressing

Not far to go now

Almost there

Sky completed!

Top section of oval border worked

Bottom half of border worked

Detail of bridge

Far side of bridge

Detail of tress in foreground

River partly worked in Alencon ground

Progessing the river

Almost there but such long rows!

River completed

Ripples on water added

Completed work and before being removed from it's backing

In 2007 I was invited to teach in Australia for the Australian Lace Guild in Perth, moving on to Melbourrne to teach for the Embroiderers' Guild and finally on to Sydney to teach at the Olympic Showground for the 50th Anniversary of the Sydney branch of the Embroiderers' Guild.  I had just completed my 'Parasol For Iris' and needed something on which to work during the long journey to Australia and to occupy my time whilst away from home for so many weeks.  I had been thinking for several years about the possibility of attempting to work Henley Bridge in needlelace and thought perhaps now was the time to do it? 

I only had one week before setting off for Australia, so not much time to consider how I was going to work this project but just needed to get it designed and onto paper/backing fabric ready for the preparatory couching to work on whilst away.  I didn't even complete the couching whilst on my travels as this was quite a large project approximately A4 size, but did occasionally do a little over the coming years but it was frequently put to one side whilst other projects took priority.

The theme for the OIDFA Convention at Caen in 2012 was 'Bridges' and my friends and colleagues said I should enter my Henley Bridge. However, it was far from completed with very little time available before entries had to arrive in France but I decided to give it a go!

Working in white presents a different set of challenges as opposed to those of working in colour, where one simply would choose a pale blue thread for the sky, a grey/black for the tarmac road, green/blue for the river etc.  However, one has to think of an alternative way to convey the different tonal values of the sky, (worked in white), to that of the clouds and the river, also worked in white, and that of the tarmac road which has an even greater tonal value.  The only way to achieve this is to use a variety of different thread gauges, which I feel I have managed to convey reasonably well using Egyptian cotton No 175 for the sky, 80/2 for the clouds, Madeira No 40, Brok cotton 60/2, 36, and 100/3, Egyptian cotton 140 and 170 along with a variety of filling stitiches.

Sadly I didn't complete my Henley Bridge in time for the OIDFA Convention and probably might never have finished it had it not been for this deadline, but decided to put in the hours and complete it as soon as possible, otherwise it would never be finished!  It was started in 2007 and completed at the end of 2012!

I decided to treat myself to a new toy in the form of an i-Pad just a few weeks before going to Caen and was delighted to discover that one can take videos with this wonderful piece of technology!  My husband has taken a short video of me working the final cordonette on Henley Bridge.  It's not too bad but the biggest problem was that he had to take it holding the i-Pad over my shoulder, in order to get close enough for the viewer to see any detail and without a tripod it's extremely difficult to hold one's hand steady, but it's not too bad and will give you some idea of how awkward it is to hold such a large piece of work in the hand.  The only way to access the areas to be worked, is to roll the pattern from either end enabling one's fingers to work the various elements/areas (See the short video).