Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Scherenschnitte and Pergamano

Yesterday I was looking through a pad of paper when I found a scherenschnitte piece I had cut several days earlier and put in the pad to flatten.  This pattern was also from a magazine and was suggested as a wedding gift.  Unfortunately the birds were damaged while I was cutting them out.  Still the rest came out very well.
In some ways I suppose that the combination of Scherenschnitte and Pergamano just doesn't sound right, but that never stopped me before!  In fact I was surprised the other day when I went looking for pergamano supplies at  All I can say is WOW!  They offer so many interesting supplies that anyone doing paper art will find something there.  But then I got to thinking that with so many different tools pergamano is a lot easier then when I started learning it 15 years ago.  Since I have been learning lace making it was only natural that making paper lace would become yet another hobby.  Unfortunately pergamano was beyond my skills.  I found that embossing the parchment was extremely difficult, just pressing down on the paper a little too much will cause a tear.  Pergamano can be a very frustrating hobby.  Finally I ran out of the special parchment and couldn't get anymore.  I do still have some heavy vellum card inserts for invitations.  So when I wanted to do pergamano I could, as long as the project was small.  After trying scherenschnitte with some success I decided to try a small pergamano project.  So I got out "Parchment Craft" by Martha Ospina and the vellum inserts and looked for an easy project.  The book "Parchment Craft" is a good book for learning pergamano and all of the gallery pieces have patterns, which is really great.  So looking through the book for something easy to make I found a fan pattern.  Without actual instructions I had to make some guesses on how to put the fan together.  But at least the fan pieces were marked clearly as to what tools to use.  The four needle tool gave me some problems, I had trouble lining up the tool so some of them were a bit crooked.  Not knowing how many piece were needed for the fan I started with 12.  For every good fan piece I made one was ruined.  After several hours I finally had 12 pieces and put them together using a brad.
Fan pieces being added to a brad.

Close-up of pergamano fan pieces.
Fan pieces.

A different angle.
The fan is not completed yet but it is a good start.  The fan was good practice for me and the embossing is getting easier to do.  I believe another six pieces should fill out the fan nicely.  There was a lot of trouble with getting the pieces aligned, it took me over an hour!  I thought that each piece would fit together but no such luck.  So I went back to the book and after staring at the gallery image I realized that thread was wrapped around each piece in a back stitch!  So the fan is permanently forced open!  The gallery image was also colored so I am thinking of doing that before finishing the fan.  So there is still a lot to do to finish this practice project.  Once I've practiced some more I hope to design a Scherenschnitte, pergamano and paper embroidery piece.

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