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Embroidered Portraits: Ideas, Inspiration and Techniques Hardcover – October 9, 2012


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Embroidered Portraits: Ideas, Inspiration and Techniques + Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery: The Art & Embroidery of Jan Messent
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844487415
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844487417
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.6 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you have ever hesitated before attempting to draw to stitch a portrait, or been frustrated by drawing faces or hands – even if you have never picked up a pencil before – then this book is the ideal place to start." —Embroidery magazine (November 2012)


"The extensive photography is extremely clear and sometimes brutally close-up, but essential for the reader to understand the execution of the techniques and their effects on the fabric. As ever with Jan Messent's books, this is a remarkable publication and one that many embroiderers will find an inspirational addition to their bookshelves." —New Stitches (November 2012)

About the Author

Jan Messent is a member of the Embroiderers' Guild, the UK's largest crafting organization. She is a former teacher and has authored numerous books on embroidery and needlework design, including "The Bayeux Tapestry Embroiderers' Story"; "Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery"; and "Jan Messent's Knitted Gardens."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. L. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 8, 2013
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Just a click on the "See Inside" feature sold me on Jan Messent's new book Embroidered Portraits. This is an ideal resource for stumpwork fans or makers of creative dolls. Messent provides an outstanding introduction on head/face making using sew-in Vilene. There are great tips for drawing and painting faces; Messent uses watercolor, gouache, and dry colored pencils. Lifelike dimensional detail is formed via padding and stab-stitching. Both long and short straight-stitching create an effect reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh's working style . You will have ample opportunity to practice shading. The chapter on actual stitching is only 3 pages long, so some prior experience with embroidering might be beneficial. But my philosophy is that if even if you are a beginner, you can learn valuable techniques by emulating a project that is outside your experience level.

There's also a short chapter on making hands with stiff sew-in Vilene, and another chapter shows an alternative way of making faces using felt. The chapter on garments is fascinating and inspiring; the teeniest bits of fancy fabric go a long way here. (Check out upholstery shops for remnants; I've gotten pieces for free right out of their trash bins - with permission, of course.) My favorite chapters are on hair and wigs; Messent shows how to make tendrils, flowing hair, wispy frays, and tight ringlets. But for me, the most fun will come from putting this all together with the embellishments - lace, beads, and bits of jewelry. I am looking forward to searching through all my containers of found objects and actually (finally) using them.

Crafters will relish the lengthy gallery section on inspiration and how to find your own sources. Finally, Messent shows off her own postcard "book", a divine creation that will have multi-media fabric-and-cloth lovers itching to make their own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Ary on December 14, 2012
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I am very pleased with this book. The author is a well known needle work teacher, and as always she has done an excellent job of providing well illustrated instructions in this book for anyone who wishes to make portraits with needle and thread. The faces are lovely, and lifelike, and I recommend this book to doll makers, and any others who like the idea of stitched portraits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RB on May 22, 2014
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Jan Messent is a true artist with a needle and thread. She is rightfully revered as an embroiderer. The photos are fantastic, and the instructions are pretty detailed. However, this book is not for the novice or even intermediate needle artist. If you are a skilled needleworker, and want to take your work to the next level, this is your ticket. If you just want to see what's actually possible within the field and aspire to greatness, this is worth every penny. If you are new to the field, just enjoy seeing what can be achieved.
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