Embroidered Ensō (1)

I have now made a start on two new embroidery projects. One was to be based on art nouveau designs, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. Instead I have returned to Japanese ink painting. This project will be based on the ensō symbol. In Japan, according to Wikipedia, this is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). My composition will consist of three ensōs. Not possible to stitch something like this in one or two strokes, so I will try and focus on the texture and solidity of the circles.  Each one will be in a different colour and stitched in a different thread. Below is the first one.
As you can see this is the red ensō. It is stitched in satin stitch over an outline in backstitch. For this I used three strands of Rajmahal ArtSilk thread in vermillion. The next ensō will be black. The fabric is a cotton and linen mix in neutral colour.

Ipad case
The other embroidery project I am working on is a design for an ipad case. For this I am using a variety of traditional Palestinian motifs. I have completed the first section, which consists of four Star Discs. The main parts of this motif were stitched in very dark parrot green and very dark blue, with a very light old gold for the corner sections. I use two strands of DMC cotton for this work on a black 18ct Aida fabric. The following section will consist of a Chinese dragon. A bit of a surprise to find a chinese dragon in traditional Palestinian embroidery, but this motif was quite common in Palestine. The photo below shows the four Star Discs and the beginning of the dragon.


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