Lord Ihone Munro, AS XL
Project Completed January, 2016
This particular purse is something of a mashup between different styles that I have looked over while browsing through the Metropolitan Museum or Art (to name just one of the sites that I browse for inspiration with my morning coffee). I used a doe skin intentionally because of it’s natural golden hues – and because I had not tried embelishing on doe with pokerwork/pyrography in the past, due to its overly delicate nature. The pyrography was done with a series of modern pens that utilize a steady electric current, whereas period pokerwork would have utilized a series of irons that would be switched out regularly to maintain as constant of a heat source possible. The gilding in this case uses a “liquid leaf” from the local hobby store, mainly because I’m not quite as familiar with how to utilize true leafing technique (at least not yet).
In order to put this piece together, I freehanded a basic design onto a sheet of paper, in order to make it symetrical. I then created the back and front main pieces of the purse so that they could be overlapped. After doing the initial cut, I decided to make something akin to darts for the sides to allow easier access into the purse, then stitched the drawstring into the segment that creates the fold to slide over a belt. After stitching the bag together with a heavy thread designed for use in leather, I began with the embelishment in a basic blackwork style pattern with the burning pens to create the main line work, then shaded inside of the created boxes. Once the pyrography was completed, I put a little dot of the gold leaf in to accent the pattern. Finally, I burned the edges with the pens, causing the doe skin to shrink and harden somewhat in order to tighten up the edges themselves (and hopefully prevent some wear at the seam lines). In retrospect, I should have done the embellishment prior to the stitching, but in this case I was hesitant to do so in case the burning stretched with the skins in an effort to reduce touch ups.