Monday, March 12, 2012


Something that did survive the flood, was all my research notes, teaching notes and photos on Turkish Embroidery. It had been stored like other things in a box, and recently I needed a large box so took that one and transferred everything ( was to be temporary) into a large plastic bag which was leaning up against something else in the room. The bag was sound and no water seeped in for which I am very grateful.

My interest started when son, Barryn while travelling overseas sent home photos taken in East Turkey, including these two, the first is a view of Mt Ararat taken from above Ishak Pasha Palace, near Dogubayazit, with it was the comment about Noah and the Ark in relation to Mt Ararat, which gave me a smile as I thought who told him that in the first place..

 Barryn's reason for visiting the Palace would have been the architecture with its influence of Ottoman, Georgia, Persian and Armenian styles. At this time he had not long completed his degree in Architecture. The second photo was taken in the Palace court yard, everywhere he travelled he sent back photos that he thought might inspire me for embroidery designs, if only I had the time to stitch them all. This one however did get me excited. the wonderful tree of life with a large sunflower at the top carved in stone This was on a small building in the Palace courtyard.

 Being very sure it would be of interest he also sent a magazine cutting as well to give a second view.
 When he returned home to NZ I had him draw the tree of life from the photos, Its quite long, 30inches  and I started thinking about how I would go about stitching it. Although at that stage I had not seen any Turkish embroidery I set out to  research and find out what I could, this was long before I had a computer, and isn't it so much easier today to put what you want into google and up it comes. After being introduced to an excellent book by the tutor of the Master classes I attended in Auckland,  I was able to get a second hand copy for myself.
Turkish Embroidery by Gulseren Ramazanoglu, this book is in English the author did her research well and the drawings and instruction on how to do the traditional stitches opened up a whole now world for me. I have just googled the book title and found second hand ones available at a wide range of prices but you would not want to buy a new copy!
As much of this work is stitched in silk, I decided I would also use silk thread and  I really enjoy stitching with Maderia silk  thread, There was an exhibition a little away in the future and I made my plan to stitch this project for it,  however before I could even go shopping for the colours I had decided on I had a major health scare, and this greatly changed my plans. The result was that I only stitched the top sunflower.

'Turkish Fragment 1 - Sunflower'  1999 was embroidered in silk on 40 count linen  and mounted on hand made paper then framed, it was sold at the Exhibition and is now privately owned.

By now I was really enjoying this form of embroidery and went on to stitch more.
 'Turkish Fragment 2.- Pomegranate' followed in 2000 and is also privately owned.

Several more smaller  pieces followed and a lot more research, then I added turkish embroidery to my teaching folio, I have always enjoyed sharing stitching with others  and when I post next about Turkish Embroidery  I will have a piece to share  with my blogging friends in the form of a give a way and if anyone is interested will do a small SAL in this work next month
 Enough of my ramblings for now. keep stitching.


gracie said...

Oh I dare try this one!

Chris said...


Vickie said...

Just gorgeous Lee. Wow! Barryn has been to East Turkey and seen Mount Ararat. Thank you for sharing. :)

Rachel S-H said...

Beautiful work! Thank you for sharing.

Annette-California said...

Love how you embroidered from your son's photos. Beautiful post and work. I'm always in for you SAL's:)

Anne said...

Such gorgeous photos! And that embroidery is stunning!!