Sunday, September 14, 2014

All About the Kiku (Chrysanthemum)

I have to say my favorite thing to make is the kiku, or chrysanthemum, style. It is increidbly diverse and can be made with either style petal, pointed willow or rounded wistera.  The one seen here, a custom order I am working on, is china red with blood red exterior and rhinestone center with leaf piece attached to a silver alligator hair clip.

 I usually make the pointed willow style petals, I find them quicker and easier to make and I focus on side by side color patters, like swirls and stars. They work from the top of the dome, down to the bottom.  I usually point the center with a large quilting pin with a colored head. Then one by one, glue them in rings until a pattern is developed. 

However with rounded petals, they layer one on top of the other, their edges flat and not pointed.  This means in order to hide the glue and edging properly, you work this style in reverse, with the outside or bottom layer glued first, then working up to the interior. 

The pattern I have chosen here is actually of an alternating layering.  I placed about 15 petals on the outside ring, then layered the next one inside on the edges of the petals centering the top petal. This give they eye more of an acceptance of mistakes in the formation of the petals, since chirimen is kinda plush and difficult to get uniform.  Unlike silk.

This piece still has an interior layer to go, before I apply the rhinestone center.  It is wired to some 22g coated brass, that goes through the piece and then is glued under the chirimen covering.  This under layer is necessary to give the chirimen petals something to adhere to.  Straight foam does not work, and your petals will slide all over the place before they dry.  And covering the foam completely adds to the visual aestihetics to your piece, no little white holes peeking through, showing gaps in your work. 

Ok that's it for tonight.  More pictures coming soon!!

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