Friday, September 18, 2015

Ladybug Part 3: Texture


the characteristic visual and tactile quality of the surface of a work of art resulting from the way in which the materials are used.
I believe that texture plays one of the most important roles in creating your piece. It determines a baseline for the overall feel of your piece.  Like life, a smooth texture may represent refinement where as a shabby frayed piece may represent a feeling of rough and tumble.

For my Charm Girls, I chose fabrics that are more textured, more earthy, than those of say the Story Hat Series- see Peony which is much softer and smoother in fabric choices.

My favorite fabric that I start with on most of my Charm Girls is one purchased several years ago in a good amount of yardage. It is a nubby tussah silk.
Silk Tussah is a raw silk fabric originating from wild silk worms. It has an uncommon and natural slubby texture, resembling grass cloth. It is hand-woven with three different types of silk threads--gicha, noil and tussah. 
I love this fabric because of the bark-like mat qualities of it. The silk worms are wild and created this uneven organic texture. This I use as the jacket..front and center on my doll.

From there I choose a compliment in a smoother texture to create balance. I use a silk dupioni that carries a bit of a sheen to it.
Also note- the direction of the weaves as the jacket runs horizontal and the skirt vertical.

Photography: Mark Mortensen


I also went with a silk that looked like linen to create the body and overlay the head.

That decided...I will next choose my color palette for the hat, pants, and shoe fabric...


I initially, chose a very smooth fabric and it just was not working not only because of the smoothness but of the lack of design pattern. I ended up with this below- shine with texture and that held a richness to it...lining it with a piece of vintage kimono that had some variation in color from wear.

The gold not only added the shine but also gave it fabulous texture. This woven embroidery was all embellished on a satin black base.


As stated, the jacket was created in the grainy fabric.
I added the smooth shiny tubular beads for closures that are tied with linen threads.
The jacket is sewn in pieces by machine and then hand sewn together with added machine embroidery as flowered accents.

The lining is a smooth silk in an earthly color. 

She holds her gourd closely. It cradles the Ladybug enameled charm. Here again, we have the earthiness of the gourd with its patina that is protected with a glossy varnish and a gold finish interiorly. Linen threads surround the opening.


The skirt creates a resting point for your eyes with its smoothness, even thought it has a slub to it reads as a satin shine.

Pants & Shoes:

The pants are made from vintage kimono fabric. I like the way it balanced with the interior of the hat...not only in color but also in tender wear...

The shoes are created with a black on black Chinese brocade. You can see the beautiful weave. The bow fabric mimics the jacket in the nubby weave.

And...let's not forget about the bottom of the shoes! If  you look carefully, you can spy the lining of the skirt- done in a polished cotton with gold trimmed blossoms.


My hope is that you can see how this texture is balanced with the prominent of the nubby and the accent of the smooth.

Next week : 

Butterfly Charm Girl

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