Daily Archives: October 28, 2009

Art with My Needle ~ Week 10

Today I share with you the final miniature container that I made using the items from the sea. A piece of coral that looked like lace caught my eye this time.  The coral looked delicate so I wanted the finished item to reflect this.

I remember reading an article about Miser’s purses and it fascinated me at the time.  If I remember correctly the original shape of a Miser’s purse was in the form of a figure 8.  All the coins were inserted in the centre and slid towards either end, usually silver to one end and gold to the other. The purse was closed at the centre with rings. The name was due to the fact that removing the coins was difficult.  By the late 1890’s, Miser’s purses were available in a great variety of shapes.

My idea was born…..  A Miser’s purse to reflect the pattern of the coral.

The next stage was to sketch the coral pattern and play about with it.

I liked the the lines of the sketch on the right.

Last week I talked about using a satin fabric coloured with an ink tea.  The tissues above were all part of that experiment.  A large piece of felt was soaked in black Quink ink to take on the colour.  It was then wrapped in layers of different fabrics and tissue.  Each absorbed the ink at a different rate.  Again it was left to dry naturally over a couple of days.  The tissues above were used as outer layers to soak up the excess moisture.  The blue tissue was closer to the ink and the ones furthest away gave a very interesting effect.  There will be more of this in a future project.

I dislike waste so sought a way to incorporate the colourful tissue in my projects.  Firstly I needed to decide on my design shape.

A double sided purse or:

A single drawstring bag with small trim.

This was the shape I finally decided on:

with the colour added at each of the pocket ends

Once the design was sorted it was down to the actual making.

This sample is made from some of the tissue paper described above.  Who would ever think that the rich egg yolk yellow would come from black ink…. but it did.  Tissue was randomly torn and places on a backing sheet of fine muslin.  It was further embellished with scraps of coloured organdie and threads of different texture and thickness.  I then trapped it with a layer of clear Contact Film to hold everything in place.

I wanted to use this new ‘fabric’ in narrow strips while giving the purse an overall soft feel.

A close up sample of how I wanted the purse to look.  The backing layer was cotton with fine strips of my tissue/plastic fabric overlaid with a double layer of tulle before overstitching in a metallic copper thread to form the pattern of the coral.

For the finished item I bound three bone rings, one to slip over a little finger to aid carrying the purse and the other pair to act as closures to guard the coins.  I finished the purse with a fringe of the threads used in the project.

A miser’s purse is no good without money…

Did you recognise the coin?

It is not a very clear picture, but the coin is actually a farthing.

The quality of my photos are not good they were all taken on one day pre-surgery so that I would have something to work on during my weeks of ‘captivity’.  This post was written this morning at Elly’s house in Dublin before we head up the road for home, and the farthing is at home so at this point I am unable to confirm the date on it.

So with a farthing in my miser’s purse…. I will always have money. 😉  Don’t tell the Toyboys!