Pear by Julie Kniedl
17th May 2019
A lot of people know that Granny Smith apples originated in Australia, but do you know about the green pear that was also developed in the land down under? The Packham Pear, or to give the full name, Packham’s Triumph, originated in the late 1800’s in Molong, a small country town in the state of New South Wales.
Charles Packham grafted two pear trees together, an Uvedale St Germain and a Williams (Williams Bartlett or Williams bon Chrétien). The resulting pear was well-named Packham Triumph, with this variety now one of the most widely grown in Australia. Ripening in autumn and winter, with cool storage seeing the eating season last well into summer, this variety is available in more months of the year than any other.
Pears are widely loved for their simple yet beautiful form and have been replicated in mediums ranging from glass and wood to textiles.
Julie Kniedl’s irresistible project simply named ‘Pear’ from the book Botanica, is so life-like in appearance it’s as if it was freshly picked from a backyard tree just this morning.
As with all of Julie’s designs, details bring the piece to life, with the varied blush of the ripening green threadpainted across the body of the fruit, the sturdy stem with two leaves still attached and the dark star indicating the remnant of the calyx at the base. This is a perfect project to start with, if you’re unsure where to begin your Botanica journey.
If you’ve been following our Botanica series in All Stitched Up! you will probably have already realised that the actual body of the fruit is a filled felt shape. Four felt shapes are hand-stitched together to create the pear, and the process of preparing the felt shape is shown in step-by-step instructions. This process is easy to master and is a key technique in forming the shapes of the various objects used throughout Julie Kniedl’s three-dimensional designs. Once you’ve made one or two of these pieces, you quickly begin planning how to create felt shapes for all kinds of fruits and vegetables, it’s that addictive!
The wiring of shapes, such as leaves and petals, is also a key technique, and one you may already be familiar with from its extensive use in stumpwork and raised embroidery. For anyone new to wired leaves or petals, we’ve included a step-by-step sequence for stitching a pear leaf.
As with the felt body, the process is infinitely adaptable to any shape and size required and is used for at least one element in every project in Botanica.
The wrapped stem that helps to give the pear such a natural look is a thick wire wrapped with wool thread. The wrapped wire tails of the leaves are incorporated into the stem, helping to create the thickening of the stem towards the tip. Easily overlooked, the change in thickness of the stem is an ingenious detail in Julie’s pieces that contributes to their life-like appearance. The detailed instructions for making the stem are illustrated with clear, hand-coloured diagrams.
Pears really are quite a beautiful fruit, and now you can make your own gorgeous stitched version for display all year round. Now, with pears on our mind, we’re off to enjoy a lunch of pear and walnut salad. Or maybe afternoon tea with a pear and ginger cake? Whichever it may be, pear is definitely on the menu!
Make Your Own Pear
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
A plump, juicy pear worked in shades of olive green and chestnut by Julie Kniedl from Botanica.
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Pear includes everything you need to recreate this delicious looking pear: Fabric (unprinted), wool felt, wires, embroidery threads and needles.