Friday, 12 March 2010

Chapter 7, contemporary Shi Sha (hand)

have you noticed that if you type in Shi Sha on google you get many links for hookahs! many appear to be made of glass but i think that's where the similarity with shi sha embroidery stops.
so far i have only used hand stitching for my contemporary pieces, somehow setting the sewing machine up is more daunting (but i am onto it!)
first one above uses a metal ring from a bead shop lashed with fine nylon filament over a street find! it seems quite apt as i think it comes from Cobra lager!

two- a series of small stacked shiny bits held in place with a combination of lurex and tied wire.
three- bits of mica held down with crocheted silver wire.
four- clear plastic disc stitched with nylon filament and enclosing some brightly coloured sequins.
five- using some silver card discs from the 'scrap store' i have held them in place with pieces of semi transparent fabric. two over the top and the middle one underneath. to make them a bit more interesting i have pulled threads and burnt holes in the enclosing patches.
i tend to keep everything now! above are two chocolate coin foils held with silver lurex just by running stitches either side of the foil and finally linking in the middle.
sticky back plastic cut into a circle with a 'jali' screen pattern cut into it and stuck over silver paper shi sha.
small knitted squares over shi sha pieces, left knitted with nylon, right with lurex. i adapted the shi sha's by scraping some of the metallic backing off and sticking printed tissue paper on the reverse, inspired by Anne Desmet's work where she had stuck images on the reverse of glass tesserae .
above holding down shapes with embroidery thread.
Shi Sha's cut from sardine tins, herringbone stitched in place with fishing line and backgroung filled in. i quite fancy the idea of doing more of these!
i have noticed that only 3 of the above are stitched onto textile! i think paper is taking over and now i am finding it hard to think in pure textile! the following and the one above are continuing with my photo theme. the hand above i found on the street in Cardiff. the jewels are held with wrapped metal thread which is then 'stitched' with more metal thread.
i have always wanted to do something with false nails apart from putting them on my hands! this was the first bit of shi sha i did back at Christmas time, the nails are from a childrens set!! they are held down by linking threads, i also included some Kutch stitch.
shiny parchment pebbles stitched over with nylon thread.
and finally legal graffiti (by who?) using a large sequin. i realise that i haven't put ant scales on any of these but the final photos are all more or less A4, bottle top speaks for itself and the others are all quite just going to get the sewing machine!


  1. you certainly have a large variety of objects used here-- from all over-- yes, we turn into pack rats saving every bit and piece, knowing that some day they might find their way into our work.

  2. I'm sitting here with my mouth hanging down to my belly .... WOW! you certainly think outside the box and what brilliant ideas. I like the chocolate foils ... maybe its my love of chocolate thats persuading me, LOL, but they're all good and just so original.