Cristina Badillo is an embroiderer in Spain who creates fantastic pieces of embroidery featuring gold and other metal threads. I’ve gotten to know her work through her blog, Barroco Siglo XXI, or 21st Century Baroque, and through following Cristina on Facebook, where she posts gorgeous close ups of her work.
Recently, I’ve been communicating with Larissa Borodich, a Russian friend who shares a keen interest in goldwork and embroidery as well. She commissioned Cristina to embroider a piece for her, and Larissa sent some close up photos of the piece to me.
So I’d like to share this gorgeous goldwork with you today, for inspiration!
This is Larissa’s goldwork piece, embroidered by Cristina. If you look at the picture that Larissa posted on Pinterest, you can see the piece in much greater detail, and you can click on it for a larger version. While you’re there, try not to get lost in Larissa’s Pinterest boards – she has some unbelievable embroidery pins on there!
Here, you can see a close-up of the center of the piece. The center of the ring in the middle – the very shiny part of the ring – is worked in strips of gold plate, called broad plate. It’s so beautifully done! I’m not a great lover of working with broad plate, so when I see it in a beautiful applications, it thrills me silly!
In addition to the use of the gold plate on the center ring, you can see it worked on the leaves as well, alternating with couched passing thread in a kind of bargello-like pattern. Lovely use of the plate and the passing thread!
Here, you get a better idea of the combination of the plate and passing thread on the leaves.
On this leaf, I want to point out the thread outlining the leaf. I’ve seen samples of the threads that Cristina used on the piece – all from a manufacturer in Spain – and most of them have a clear English-goldwork-thread counterpart. But the thread in the photo above that outlines the leaf and continues into the curled tendril does not, to my knowledge, have a readily available counterpart from among the goldwork threads from Benton & Johnson and Golden Threads, which are the two companies that make the more widely available English goldwork threads that we have here in the US.
I’ll show you the particular thread close up later this week, when we talk a little more in-depth about goldwork threads and look at some differences between the English-made goldwork threads and the Spanish-made goldwork threads.
And here again are some other leaves outlined with the same thread. The leaves are worked in rococo (the one on the lower right) and smooth passing (the one on the left), and then, over the “spine” of the leaf is worked a beautiful line of spangles or pailettes, with S-ing a-top them. The rococo thread (a wavy goldwork thread that is couched like passing thread) is slightly different from the rococo thread from England. We’ll look at those differences later this week, as well.
Thanks to Larissa for sending along the photos and the thread samples! More later on this pet subject….
In the meantime, if you’d like a good goldwork “fix,” do visit Cristina Badillo’s blog, 21st Century Baroque, and if you want to be steeped in inspirational photos, check out Larissa’s embroidery boards on Pinterest.