Nimue Creation Step by Step

A few months ago, more than a year ago, I realized that Nimue, although having an Arthurian name, had not yet created embroidery subjects from the Arturian Legend. What?
It seemed incredible that after more than 17 years of being called Nimue(The Lady of the Lake),nothing, no character, transmitted this culture that is the breeding ground of my inspiration.
An opportunity would allow me to embark on the realization of this Arthurian pantheon: an invitation to Moscow, as guest of honor of a fair art of the thread – crafts, Formula Rukodiela in February 2020.
The first cross-stitch subjects were Guinevere,then Arthur,the Royal Couple.
Now it is the turn of the beings of the Other World, the Enchanter and Enchantress: Merlin and Viviane.

Viviane, The Lady of the Lake: Episode 11

Rhomb Viviane

End of the creative journey

Here I am at the end of my creative journey with Viviane .
What I aspire to is to create something that is universally beautiful while being oddly different.
When we touch the universal, we touch a common emotion. Even if we don’t know each other, that we come from distant cultures and territories, something is there that is common to us and moves us.
Sometimes you read a book and you say to yourself that the author wrote exactly what you had in yourself without being able to express it, but he did. And that fills us with gratitude to the author.
Is it too ambitious to want to express in embroidery the poetry that there is in each of the embroiderers? and who will one day appropriate this work?
If you are here today reading these lines it is because we look alike and our intimate images merge. So why not our crosses?

“How will you exploit the constraints to create useful and unusual beauty? "

1-End of the landscape

A month ago I came to the end of the landscape.
Concretely all that was left was the face, in other words: the skin.
Embroidering the trees was extremely enjoyable. It was really exciting to play with all these tones of water greens and bronze greens, mixing them as subtly as possible. Sometimes there is nothing more to say in embroidery than color balance. It does not always correspond to the logic of reality but it gives the illusion of reality. It is an abundance.
Embroidery in a thread allowed this proliferation, made it possible to “load” without it seeming heavy.
Here we are in a vintage tapestry with a little old-fashioned charm counterbalanced by the modernity of the character.
I tell you very simply: it made me happy.
Then we had to think precisely at the end. That is, to decide about beads, accessories, special threads etc.
Anticipate so that the materials are available quickly at the end of the subject.
I was wondering :
  • How was I going to make the brooch for the cape?
  • Which pearls did I have in stock for my tests and which suppliers? French, Americans, Japanese?
  • How was I going to finish the belt?
  • How was I going to make the gold patterns on the dress?
  • What material was I going to use for the ivy headband?

2-Jewelry ….

a-Belt: buckle and interlacing.
I wanted to rummage in my drawers and look for primers. I unearthed from the bottom of a treasure drawer, a small bag of copper filigree medallions. Perfectly sized, it takes its place as a belt buckle instead of the embroidered pattern.
It is as beautiful as something that seems to have been designed for.
How many are in this bag? 47.
1 for the original model + 1 for the reserve.
I have 45 pieces.
I search the internet for potential suppliers. Nothing. Not even something close. It’s sad. Many manufacturers or wholesalers have disappeared in recent years.
I dive back into my drawers …

It is as beautiful as something that seems would have been created for.

I can’t think of anything better. This locket is so perfect that I refuse not to use it. Too bad, only 45 embroiderers will have the same. I would find a substitute for the sequel.
Usually a rupture occurs after a few years. It’s always risky to select findings but it’s so exciting to use jewelry!
When that happens, that is, when a thread, an accessory, a canvas or something else, is no longer available, I look for what can replace it without losing the soul of the subject.
While being different the mind is the same.
This is why, when the 45 diamonds are gone, a new primer will take its place, and in a beautiful way, since it will be a 4-leaf clover. Quite a symbol!

b-Brooch / fibula ….

During my exploration I also found something to make a brooch for the cape. But it wasn’t as satisfying as the belt buckle. It was a little too big or a little too small.
This brooch is a fibula. A fibula is a medallion or a loop with a spike. The spike passes through the fabric of the cape and is held by the medallion.
I look closely at the model and of course I see the pearls in the center and golden rings around. I will probably need 3-4 kinds of green pearls. I will also have to create something completely original for the metal part and the spike.
I keep this in the back of my mind and will come back to it later.
I just need to make sure I have the pearls and the stock.

c-Bustier ….

My idea is to use lamé threads. Undoubtedly an old gold and a copper. I have to make sure with the manufacturer that there is stock when I don’t even know if that’s really what I’m going to choose. No need to fantasize about a thread that will only be available in 6 months!
If I have made sure that my finishing ideas are viable for the supplies, I still have the skin problem for which I do not yet have a vision …
As often I had placed the stitches and the colors of the skin at the level of the bust at the very beginning of the work without however embroidering them.
Now is the time to get started!
I check are the chosen shades still relevant?
Sounds okay to me so I’m going for it.
The bust being done, I continue and embroider the throat. Hmmmmm. So there I have doubts.
After having embroidered thousands of stitches in one thread for the landscape, going back to two threads seems rude to me.
My mind is confused.
I still determine all the points of the face but I am quite feverish.
I embroider the exteriors and frankly that does not convince me.
I take a step back, a few days to decide.
I mull over my business.

In vain I look in the palette for which colors could be suitable to continue in two threads but I can not find anything. Everything is too strong, too intense.

I have to find something else …

See you next: Viviane Episode 12 …

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Viviane, The Lady of the Lake, by Nimuo after an illustration by Elph’s Zephir.

Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below!

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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