These sections that involved a combination of hand needlework and lunéville hook techniques. There was so much colour and detail that at first it was difficult to distinguish the techniques never mind the sequence in which they were to be done! It was a gradual step-by-step process of building up the surface with the teachers demonstrating how to use each material individually.
The diagonal lines of the pattern indicate the background in gold lamé fabric which is applied first using adhesive paper and heat transfer. The curved lines in pink, red, brown and green are beads, the fluffy green details are silk rayon thread, the blue and green lines with arrows are sequins applied in a river, the wavy yellow lines are irregularly placed sequins and the small yellow crosses are individually applied sequins. The brown, ochre and orange dots are french knots in cotton embroidery floss and the larger green dots are french knots in cotton chenille thread. The black flowers and circles are little gold beads.
The gold lamé is applied first using adhesive paper and heat transfer, it is held taught by a frame of point-riche in gold metallic thread. The lunéville hook work is completed first, starting with a border of gold beads, then the stems of turquoise tube beads, red and pink seed beads. There were almost imperceptible gaps between the beads and they had to be included for the details to follow. Next the tiny shoots of gold, red and pink beads were added using point-tiré. Turquoise and grey sequins were applied in a river, the yellow matt sequins were applied individually and in an irregular and waved band. Finally the silk rayon thread was worked over the beads and sequins in long point-tiré stitches.
At this stage the frame was turned over and it was time to start working on the top. The tiny french knots in raspberry, red and pink were added first, then the larger knots in sunshine yellow chenille. The threads were started and finished on the surface and secured in place with two or three tiny stitches that had to be carefully and neatly hidden. The gold metal beads and flowers were added next and finally the sparkling red and coffee coloured jewels.
There were so many intricate steps, stages and details to add that it became very difficult to follow the pattern. Spaces as small as 3mm had to be adhered to and if they weren't stitches had to be unpicked and started over again! Once it was finished I marvelled over each ornate detail, a visual feast of colours, materials and techniques.