Saturday, December 3, 2016

Meyers Collaboration VII -- Framed Needlepoint

This is the seventh collaboration between my wife Sara Meyers and myself in which she stitches the needlepoint work, and I build the frame. As mentioned in previous posts about these pieces the use of the term collaboration is really a misnomer as 98% - 99% of the work rests in the stitching, a rather rigorous art requiring the difficult friendship of patience and concentration.  I am simply amazed by her beautiful work. The heart shape, however, provided a significant challenge to matting.  We checked at least four commercial frame shops in Tucson, and none were able to cut the inner mat precisely to the shape of the heart, though the outer mat was nicely cut, as always, by Jinou Naval at Sarnoff Custom Framing. Our friend Nathan Benson took up the challenge, and through a time-consuming and considerable sequence of image transfers and manipulations he was able to program his laser engraver to cut the inner mat very close to the perimeter of the heart. Sara then added a background continental stitch of gray thread around the silver heart perimeter to fill the small remaining gap and cover the raw canvas. Nathan was also able to add the nice touch of a subtle and delicate "signature" and date to Sara's piece:

Several combinations of speed and power proved unable to eliminate laser scorching of the paper, though 50% power did work better.  The edge of the mat was completely Cajun and brown flares radiated onto the surface.  This is not surprising considering the low ignition point of paper, Fahrenheit 451 if I recall, a number we might keep in mind.  Interestingly, about 90% of the surface scorching could be removed with a simple white eraser which did not alter at all the texture or sheen of the mat board (also obtained from Sarnoff).  When it came to removing the charred surface on the mat's cut edge 180 grit sandpaper worked very well.  The image below shows the mat board prior to removal of the scorching:

Singular wooden ware + hand carved teaspoons at:

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