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Fancy Free: embroidered goldwork goldfish

This three-dimensional, life-size 'fancy' goldfish (Carassius Auratus), and the decorative fishtank plants, have been created using traditional hand embroidery techniques of goldwork and stumpwork.

The fish was created from 13 separate embroidered 'slips', finished with buttonholed edges and cut out. Finally it is assembled with thread and wire. Mounted on a wooden base with wire stand, and finished with offcut fabric and threads.

The fish symbol is ubiquitous in spiritual practices. Representing freedom in Buddhism, fertility and luck in Judaism, happiness and good fortune in Confucianism - and to the Christians as the acrostic ICHTHYS (fish), standing for Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter.

Techniques: Opus Anglicanum underside couching, goldwork, stumpwork. Extensive use of the rare technique 'underside couching' is homage to the great ecclesiastic embroiderers of Opus Anglicanum of medieval times

Organza, Polycotton, plastic ping-pong ball, paper-covered wire, jewellery wire, beads, sequins, Wooden base.

Threads: Gilt and orange passing thread, bright check, various purls, Millary wire, DMC stranded/colour variations/light effects, Madeira metallic threads, waxed soft string.


Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery 2023
Textile Art - Open


“ Words can't express the skill of the embroiderer, not to mention the finished, beautiful, awe-inspiring work of art. Thank you for giving me so much pleasure in this post.” Miranda Lavin

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