Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Soutache On The Bead Table :: Lady Gray Cameo

Artisan Whimsy challenged us to try out a new technique called Soutache (pronouced SOO-tash) and is referred to as Russian Braid. It is a beautifully flowing stitching technique with layers of trims, braids and tassels; developed in the 16th century. The trims are stitched flat in a combination of sewing and bead embroidery with the trims 'stacked' to create a stronger visual with the beads in a series of curves. 

I found inspiration on a few sites from Poland, Hungary and Romania. If you want to see some amazing eye candy check out this site by Aurus.

I have done quite a bit of sewing, embroidery and beading and when I saw the call to learn this technique I thought I'd be able to master it quickly. But that was not the case; I can't even bring myself to show you my first attempt. What I can tell you is that every little niggle with your stitch shows up. 

I started the project weeks ago, and put it down as I was too frustrated to try again. I finally picked it back up again a day ago, and it went along much more easily this time. I decided to let the trim fall into its place naturally as I stitched along. This worked so much better - and faster - for me. I also decided that instead of trying to work in multiple colors, I wanted to focus to one color and let the central focal take center stage, which worked better with what I had in mind. I wanted to do something that was a little more Victorian and thought a cameo would be the perfect focal.

This piece is still on my bead table. I need to put the backing on and add a few more pearls. I also need to decide if this will be a choker or a necklace, and if I want to use ribbon, velvet or a beaded stitch. I'm going to let it sit for a few days, but I'm so glad I tried this again! I would recommend checking out the recommended site for materials and tutorials if you want to try Soutache; Amee Runs with Scissors.

18 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

Wow, I haven't heard or read the word 'soutache' in ages...it was very popular here in the US during much of the 1800's and is lovely, if a bit time-consuming.

Love what you've done with the cameo Cynthia!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Your cameo is stunning. I can fully appreciate the effort of soutache--not sure I would have the patience for it.

Kashmira said...

And finally I know how to pronounce it :)

I really like your design! It looks like an ornate wall mounted picture frame :)

Is this for the AW challenge?

BamaTrav said...

That took me all night to make.

Christine Altmiller said...

so beautiful and so brave to give this a go. you did a great job! glad to know how to say it. i always think of it as "Stash" :-)

Bobbie said...

Look at you, mastering another technique! I tried soutache over the summer, and my first attempts were butt-ugly, but I do love the look of it when it's done well. I've pre-ordered the Anneta Valous book, so maybe I'll be able to figure it all out eventually!

Memories for Life said...

Very cool technique. I bet the possibilities are endless with this style!

Patti Van said...

This is gorgeous - the use of a cameo seems so appropriate! I would not be able to do this - no way! You should be very proud of yourself!

Linda Wildenstein said...

Wow, I love your jewelry work...
I dropped by today to invite you to once again be a participant in
Celebrate Oz 2013. Here is the link to the sign up: http://lindaomasoldebaggsnstuftshirts.blogspot.com/2013/01/celebrate-oz-2013-sign-up-page.html
I hope you will find time to come and play again in Oz, Oma Linda

Caron Michelle said...

Love to see the variation in your designs - and the various techniques you try - I love the cameo - you have created a gorgeous piece.

BeadedTail said...

I hadn't heard of this before but it looks beautiful but really, really hard to do! I like how your cameo turned out though!

Katherine at Terra Beadworks said...

What a lovely technique and it sets off the beautiful cameo so nicely. I had seen the word somewhere but didn't have a clue what it was....now I do!

Lorelle McIntyre said...

Hi Cynthia you've done a lovely job on the cameo the pearls blend in so nicely.

Magic Love Crow said...

Wow, this looks like a lot of work!!!

CraftyHope said...

I need to spend a little more time on Artisan Whimsy as I keep missing stuff, but who am I kidding. . .I simply can't even keep up with the blogs I'm want to follow. Maybe one day. In the meantime, I'm anxious to see how this project turns out! Don't keep us in suspense for too long, please.

Alicia said...

This is such a lovely piece, Cynthia!
I imagine it's not too easy, I bought the soutache, looked at it and thought 'and now... what?!' :)
You've inspired me to try it - even if it's not time to enter it in the AW challenge :-)

Miss Val's Creations said...

Very unique work! I have never heard of this technique. It certainly sounds tricky. I can't wait to see how you finish off the piece of jewelry!!!!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

I had heard of soutache but really didn't know what it was. Yours is lovely -- so Victorian! It's good that you gave it another go because it is truly beautiful (love the grey again the cameo). I can just see it on a velvet ribbon...

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