The second of my Dijanne Cevaal Medieval figures has been hugely enjoyable to work on. The figure was printed onto a brown hand-dyed cotton and I decided to work it in a predominantly red palette with gold highlights. I used a range of red silks for the body of his cloak and an Embroiderers' Guild overdyed red-gold stranded cotton on the piece folded over his arm.
I had originally intended to insert shisha mirrors in the circles decorating his cloak, and what looks rather like a sporran, but thought better of it when I remembered my collection of operculum (or cats' eyes. I have collected these since I was a child and a much-loved uncle gave me a jar of them that he had collected in New Guinea during World War II. These are not from my Uncle's collection, but from a collection I bought at an Antique Fair a few years ago. I attached them using a metallic gold thread and the simplest shisha attachment method.
The pouch, or sporran challenged me, until I remembered a tanned cane toad skin I had bought a couple of years ago from Alison Cole. Cane toads are an introduced invasive species causing considerable damage to Australian wildlife and tanning their leathery skin seems a fitting response.
I'm pleased to have found a use for mine!
It seemed to me that the King should also have some fur on his cloak, so made it from Madeira stranded silk and Giordes Knots.
I used the same stitch for his beard, but found a Madeira synthetic with a bit of sparkle that worked well. I beaded the crown in gold, jewelled with some coral pieces. A couple of dark purple crystal beads give his eyes a bit of regal flash.
The batik background fabric is quite spectacular with a greeny-gold lifting the red. To link it together, I used a variegated green and gold machine thread to quilt the background and some green over-dyed Embroiderers' Guild stranded thread to work a border that links it to the panel.
I think these panels are improving as I go along, and get braver at experimenting with embellishment.