What is this gibberish? you may well ask.
I like the word mellor. Say it over and over again, and it starts to sound a little odd, but it has a nice mouth feel, for a word. Tack a British accent onto it and it sounds quite posh. Say it as an American and it sounds round and full and comfortable.
What is it? It’s a goldwork tool. I’ve talked it about it before on Needle ‘n Thread, but today, I’m writing about it for a different reasons. I’m writing about it today by way of REJOICING!
And I’ll tell you why…
I have a lovely sterling silver mellor that I’ve had for years and years. I’ve always loved using it, because it seems to me less tinny and less sharp-around-the-edges, compared to the brass-colored mellors that are sold today for goldwork.
Years ago, I remember reading that sterling silver was favored for goldwork mellors because it is a softer, less abrasive metal, and therefore, better for prodding goldwork threads. I’ve not been able to locate sterling silver mellors these days, though, so I’ve always treasured mine…
… until I lost it.
When we started this major goldwork project that I’ve been sharing with you lately, I really, really wanted to find it.
I looked everywhere. High, low, in, out. You know: everywhere I could possibly have stowed a small tool that I didn’t want to lose – which is the best way to assure I would never remember where I stowed it.
It took sorting and shifting the entire contents of my studio (preparatory to moving) to finally discover the thing. Anna found it while packing up.
And so, feeling very Biblical (drachmas and all), I rejoiced. And I’m calling all my friends together to rejoice with me, for what was lost is now found.
If you’d like to know what a mellor is and how it is used, you can read more about the mellor here.
The fine-tipped end of this small paddle-shaped tool can be used a number of ways in goldwork: it’s a laying tool, it’s an awl, it’s a prodder and poker of things, it can help you un-stitch when necessary (somewhat often when doing chip work). The broad flat side of the tool can be used to smooth out the line followed by couched, to gently push couched threads closer together, and so forth.
For additional information about mellors and to see them in use, you can look up videos on YouTube to show you what a mellor is and how it’s used. There are a couple good ones, but of course, they are peppered with ads, which is why I’m not linking directly to them here.
I really prefer using the silver mellor to using the more commonly available other-metal and stainless steel varieties. Is it just my imagination that it somehow works better? Probably. But it is significantly less tinny feeling, and the edges are definitely round and smoother. It’s such a comfy tool. I’m happy to have it in hand again!
I’ll give you an update on the goldwork project hopefully next week. We are presently working on the back of the project, securing all the plunged threads, and we’ll have something more exciting to show once we can flip the frame back over again.
Have a jolly weekend!
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