Primary Tools & Materials:

Additional Tools & Materials: Adobe Photoshop, inkjet printer, fabric, card stock, painter's tape, seed beads

This letter came from combining embroidery and a drawing tablet. Using my tablet and stylus, I wrote dozens of letter Ms with a variety of Photoshop brushes. I chose my two favorites to print onto muslin fabric with my inkjet printer. Since I already knew my printer could handle a paper doily taped to card stock (see Day 42), I wasn't at all concerned about taping fabric to a sheet and sending it through. The two Ms I chose printed clearly, but the first was a little too brushy and faint to show up strongly on the fabric, so I chose the second one. 

Once I got the letter on the embroidery hoop, I rummaged through my sewing box and my beads to find materials that would not just decorate this letterform, but give it depth and dimension. I decided to darken one side of each stroke with forest green embroidery floss, to suggest a shadow. I chose to highlight the top right edges using tiny silver seed beads.

This study forced me to think very carefully about where my hypothetical light source would be to cast these shadows and highlights. I estimate that the imaginary light creating these features on the letter would be on the right side, near the baseline. I struggled with whether to put a shadow or highlight on the tail of the last stroke that angles upward - but I decided it would look more awkward to skip it than to include it. 

This study includes three things I've never tried before, let alone attempted to combine. I have never tried printing on fabric, but now that I know it's so easy, I won't be concerned about doing it again in the future. I also learned a new embroidery stitch called chain stitching, which was a good way to get a substantial, textural shadow without a lot of stitches. Lastly, I have never sewn beads onto fabric, or anything for that matter. I have literally millions of beads, and I can't believe it just occurred to me to use some in these studies.