Before the photos, the background information: this project was designed by Margaret Cobleigh, who used it as a guild project to teach some silk shading and goldwork embroidery techniques. After preparing the kits for her guild, she had a couple left over, and I am ever-so-grateful that I had the opportunity to procure one!
Margaret also submitted the project to Inspirations Magazine. It’s being published in issue #61, which is just out now. You can see a preview of Inspirations 61 on the Country Bumpkin website right now, and you can also see that the kit for The Golden Pomegranate is available for sale. (US readers, if you look at the kit, make sure to change the currency options to US dollars – it makes quite a bit of difference!) If you don’t subscribe you Inspirations magazine, you can buy an individual copy of this issue if you want (through Country Bumpkin, and probably through some US suppliers, like Wooly Thread, for instance). If you already subscribe to Inspirations, then you know that you’ll receive the complete instructions, photos, and the pattern within the magazine. If you decide to buy the kit and you don’t have this issue of the magazine, you’ll also need to buy the issue in order to have the instructions.
So that’s how that works.
I was first attracted to the pomegranate design when Margaret sent me a photo to show me what she had designed, with the understanding that I couldn’t publish the photo, as she was submitting the project to Country Bumpkin. Well, I was besotted! I love everything about this design – I love the colors (the reds are fantastic, and the greens are perfect), I love the goldwork, I love the way the goldwork is arranged and the variety of goldwork techniques, I love (LOVE) the trellis center on the pomegranate, with the beads and spangles… well. Like I said, when I first saw the photo of the project, I was besotted.
Another point that I liked about it – it’s not a huge project. It’s small (about 6″ x 6″, I think), so it’s manageable in a reasonable amount of time. Margaret’s instructions are crystal clear and perfect for someone who wants to try goldwork for the first time. The project is interesting and varied enough for seasoned goldworkers, too.
Anyway, I was happy to get one of Margaret’s “leftover” kits… and I started to work on the pomegranate pretty quickly. All told, it didn’t take 3 weeks (maximum) to complete it. Keep in mind, that’s stitching in the evenings and a bit on weekends – I have a full time job and a life, so I wasn’t stitching day in and day out! It was a nice, pleasurable, non-pressured stitching situation.
I had decided before I embarked on the project that I would make it as a gift for my niece, who was married in the middle of November. The pomegranate has been a symbol for ages upon ages of new life – so I thought it an appropriate gift.
I like angle shots – this isn’t perhaps the best angle shot, but one of my favorite elements of the design is the pomegranate “crown” filled with chip work.
Here’s the pomegranate itself. I love the fact that the stitching is shaded with the understanding of a light source from the top left. Notice how the pomegranate, on the top left, is lighter, and on the bottom right side, the top edge is also lighter? The top left leaf is couched in a lighter green as well. Nice, isn’t it?
The trellis interior is really my favorite part. I love the pomegranate seeds (beads), and I’m a sucker for trellis couching. I think it’s a beautiful interpretation.
The only part that I had real difficulty with was the vein on the leaves. I didn’t remember until after I couched the pearl purl on that it was supposed to be wavy. So I pinched it into a little wave, but it doesn’t look nearly as nice as the leaves on the prototype in the magazine!
Finally, here’s the frame job. I had it framed in a custom frame, with all archival materials… the frame is slightly over 11 inches square. It’s black with a gold crackle (in tiny veins) working through it, but that doesn’t show up so well in the photo. It’s triple matted, in green, then gold, then a velvet red mat. The triple matting holds the glass well away from the raised gold and the beads.
I was so happy with the way the project turned out that I was loathe to part with it! Apparently the bride loved it, though, so I’m glad did!
And thus ends the story of The Golden Pomegranate.