The other day, my sister and niece stopped in at a thrift shop (or “op shop”), and they came across this embroidered Chinese panel that they thought I might find interesting. It was only a couple bucks, so they brought it home to me.
The embroidery on the panel looks to me as if it were worked by hand, but it has that kind of mass-produced look (sweatshop work, perhaps?). I could be wrong. I’d be happy to hear what you all think.
The frame is flimsy and cheaply made and painted. I think the embroidery is actually stuck on the board in parts. I’m going to take it apart, eventually, just to see what it’s all about.
There are parts of the embroidery that I really like:
The shading on the water fowl is magnificently done!
The feathers and the layers of color are finely and perfectly stitched. There aren’t any “carrying threads” that are typical to machine embroidery. I’m certain this is hand stitched.
The roses up close didn’t really grab me at first. The contrasts are stark and the lines a bit angular…
But what’s funny is that, from the side, they look entirely different! The silk has quite a sheen to it, too.
The clusters of flowers and leaves below the ducks are the best part of the foliage on the piece, I think.
And the grass and water on the pond in which the ducks are floating is really interesting. The two shades used to embroider the grass give the illusion of a reflection, and the pale grey horizontal stitches make the water look quite real.
This little bunch of hanging buds and flowers makes a nice cluster, and I like the silvery grey in the leaves.
There are some stains on part of the piece – mostly in the foliage hanging down from the roses – but other than that, it’s pretty clean.
So, what do you reckon? Shall I take it apart? I was thinking there might be parts that would be fun to salvage, recycling it into something else. Any ideas?
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