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Nimue Creation Step by Step

A few months ago I wanted to write about the creative process either in general or the particularities related to a specific topic in progress. And as these articles are acclaimed by many of you, I continue…

In this part of the site you will therefore find articles that tell how a creation is developed step by step, mixing technical, economic and poetic questions.
And above all, do not hesitate to leave your comments at the end of the article. Good reading !

History of Creations, Episode 1

Giving meaning to your passion...

In the beginning there are two things that go on in parallel:
  1. the irrepressible desire to embroider, in other words the passion
  2. the imperative need to do something meaningful
All tripled by a spirit of sharing… because without sharing little flavor.
Thus is born ONE choice, then SOME choices of images to interpret, in embroidery, in cross stitch.
1 – I no longer remember what motivated the selection of the first subjects apart from the theme: The Archer, the King of Goblins .. Maybe just the desire to start with something simple to practice. I note however that the range of colors with dominant red and green already pose an axis which will follow me in all my selections or almost. Likewise, these illustrations by Erlé Ferronnière mark the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration with an illustrator of rare elegance.
Archer embroidery
Leprechaun King embroidery
Roi des Lutins
2- For the Button War , it’s a bit more precise. We are clearly in an evocation linked to needlework and a certain form of humor. Three little fellows, with warrior accents, hidden behind buttons as shields keep us in check. At that time the embroideries were unadorned. Today I would increase it with a real big button or another material giving the illusion of… I created it on an off-white linen canvas but Cécile Vessière from Bonheur des Dames, a supporter among the supporters, told me that a bis canvas would be more appropriate. Thus, advised by a master of creation, I changed the canvas for natural colored linen. (What is not yet visible in the photo below)
With La Pipe we enter a more poetic dimension. An Ephemeral to flirt with the subtlety of the confines of our imagination and nature. There is grace in this picture. The slender attitude of the character and the sophisticated, even feminine pipe, adorned with small ivory and gold embroidery beads, in an ebony case, give the whole all its refinement.
Guerre des boutons
Button War
The pipe
The pipe

Small ivory and gold embroidery beads, in an ebony case, give the whole its elegance.

3- The Key.
We are finally at the heart of the matter. My deep motivation.
Since I have been embroidering, I have been looking for great female characters. The big brands that we all know Lavender or Mirabilia only partially suit me, because they are too “American” or too “quacker”. I’m not from this culture made of too much glitter or the conquest of the Great West.
I need my heroines, those linked to my territory, to my history, to my imagination as a Breton anchored in her legendary forest, heiress of a Europe crossed by the great movements of the Celts or bards peddling mythical tales and epics of castles in castles.
Fortunately, there is an illustrator in France, Sandrine Gestin (another Breton) who has this talent for painting portraits of Ladies Fairies, with a harmony, a velvet imbued with magic. These Ladies undoubtedly carry within them the magical beauty of the Other World. These images touch on a rare excellence. With what Sandrine paints, we are exactly where I want to be in embroidery, at the crossroads of worlds.
Isn’t it highly symbolic to want to make crosses again and again where the Worlds intercede?

By creating this subject, I believe I have really entered into what is the very essence of my profession. The major path began there, with a face of infinite grace, haloed by a mane with purple accents, topped with pearl jewels, contrasted by an ocher fabric with a distinct character. In his hand the character holds a Key against his chest. A door opens…

The Key beads
The Pearl Key
Nimuë that’s it.
  • Strong colors with character
  • patterns interpreted by textile materials but not only..
  • enrichments to carry the subject, here pearls
  • a harmony of materials and assortments,
  • all supported by a deep theme.
In short, one could say that there is matter at all levels: fibers, culture, spirituality. This interweaving offers meaning to the subject and allows you to share a combination of passions all united in a hobby intended to make you happy. Isn’t it wonderful?
4- Ritournel and The Bird
In a previous article on the origins of Nimuë, I mentioned the Revelation that the meeting of certain paintings had caused more than twenty years ago during an exhibition in Toulouse, at the Salon Artistique de l’Imaginaire. I specifically remember the encounter with Zephyr of Elph and what triggered it. The suite had arrived in cascade. Almost all of the Zephir of Elph paintings I saw were compatible with cross-stitch embroidery. Exceptional!
Among them Ritournel… It’s the beginning of autumn 2002, Christmas is approaching, this bearded man looking like Santa Claus, in warm colors makes me want winter and gifts under the tree. I have so many projects that inspire me that I move forward by letting intuition guide me from one image to another, called by the shimmering colors. It’s the first time I’ve played with the oranges…
Ritournel and the Bird
Ritournel and the Bird
5- Mic & Mac.
A few years earlier, I had participated in the genesis of children’s books published by Aux bords des Continents , created by my friends Erlé Ferronnière and Jean-Baptiste Monge , respectively Mic & Mac and Baltimore and Redingote. With Gwen, my faithful companion, we are going to dive back into these works and in particular Mic & Mac , in order to stage our little friends all dressed in green.
We realized that small embroideries for children, or gifts for children, would be a breath of fresh air in the somewhat complex universe of Nimuë. You see at that time the reactions to my embroideries were divided. There was the theme, unusual, to be accepted, in addition to a very “extensive” approach to colors . It was not usual and it took time to convince. With our mischievous little green elves we are going to imagine a combination of possible assortments, linking them to each other with a red string stretched from one frame to another. It was fun, fast and unifying.
However, I remember that it gave me a lot of trouble! I’m not “wired” to create simple things. You cannot imagine how much I suffered! much more than creating La Clef… Why does our brain feel comfortable in certain contexts rather than others? It’s a mystery.
Why so much stress?
A Mic or Mac has a specific size. Understand that:
  • two millimeters too small and “it does not exist” in other words “no presence” or no impact.
  • two millimeters too much and it becomes “vulgar”.

You can’t imagine how this requires an exact and ultra-precise vision. (I don’t know why but it reminds me of pastry…so demanding.)

I grant you, once the right size is found, there is not much more difficult.
To start there will be 4, or 2 pairs. Mic 1 with Mac 1, Mic 2 with Mac 2.
But now you, embroiderers, have decided to match them by 3! Mic 2, Mac 1 and Mac 2… you guys are awesome.
Mac 1
Mac 2
Mic 2
Mic 1
Thus the first ten subjects of Nimuë were created . Already we can see that the Little Mythology from our Indo-Eupean cultures will be the heart of the content. Do not look here for angels or contemporary motifs, it is medieval/Celtic or Celtic/medieval tradition revisited with the alder of the 21st century. Fantasy here we come! Petit Peuple and Féerie sit down and monopolize all the folding seats, most often with grace and humour, even playfulness.
Thus Nimuë, Lady Fairy of the Other World, fashioned her first subjects by playing with themes and colors, rejoicing that they were Fairy Hand.

See you for more: History of Creations Episode 2…

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Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below!

Picture of Annaïck Chauvel

Annaïck Chauvel

Welcome to the story of Nimue’s Creations. Here I share with you the How and Why of these creations.

Table of Materials

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