Wednesday 15 July 2015

In Glorious Black & White

Doctor Who started back in 1963 in black and white, it was one of the last BBC shows to switch to colour production in 1970 when Jon Pertwee took over as the Doctor. Until then the Daleks, Cybermen and all the other beasties were never seen in their full glory (Except of course in the two Peter Cushing films).

Then it happened, the TARDIS arrived on Earth, the Doctor was put into exile, along came UNIT in force and so did colour and the Autons.

Although I have used colour throughout the tapestry until now, even on the William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton panels themselves I decided some time back to try a panel in just the shades of black, white and various greys. (Maybe not quite 50 shades).

At first, I was concerned it might not come out too well, but after a short period working on the first selected characters that were pertinent to the era and to be honest where it was hard to find colour reference photographs to work from, I soon found that it created quite an effective piece. Then for various reasons that got put on hold, and not so long ago that panel resurfaced as I was sorting through the tapestry materials and I knew now (or back then) was the time to finish it.

This photo shows what it was like when I rediscovered the panel back in March of this year, and above is the finished panel before I started to fit it into the main body of the piece.

The black and white panel is going to go in the space between Hartnell and Troughton but although having originally measured the gap, and used a frame to maintain tension in the material there is a slight sizing issue to contend with.  For one thing it’s too tall so the rest of the tapestry is going to have to be extended upwards by a good few centimetres as well. I’ll worry about that once this is firmly fitted in place – less of an issue. The slight extra width on the other hand might need some gentle persuasion.

There is one other slight issue, you might notice from the picture below, the different material that has been used for this section means the stich size is also inconsistent. Think of it that one section is in higher definition than the other!

Basically to join the panels together I’m using extra wool to stitch across the two panels, pulling them together, in some cases over sewing what was there to ensure that enough stitches cross over from one side to the other to form a strong join. I start by putting in a few tacking stitches with cotton, just to hold everything in place, I really could do with Alpha Centaui’s extra arms to make sure everything stays in place as I work.  These will be taken out as I go.  I’ve just started that piece of work, and I expect it will be a good couple of months before I have another update about the tapestry on here. Also with it being the summer months, it is very heavy, hot work, holding the huge thing hanging over my lap.

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