Doorway To??? by Teresa Frank

2nd Place, Professional Original

Several years ago, my husband and I traveled with a Rick Steves European tour, part of which was a two-night stay in Monterosso al Mare, one of the five small towns of the Cinque Terre in Italy. While there, we had a full day on our own and we decided to take the ferry to Vernazza, the next town further down the coast.

All five towns nest along this rugged Italian coast and there is a hiking trail through the hills above connecting them. We wandered up through Vernazza and walked part of the trail back toward Monterosso al Mare before returning to Vernazza and catching the train “home”. High above Vernazza the hills are covered with olive trees and vineyards. As we approached a switchback on the trail, we discovered this little door set into the rock wall. There were cascading roses around it and vines and trees above. I took several photos in the hope of someday using this as a needlework design.

In 2016 I took a photo transfer workshop with Lois Kershner at our EGA region seminar in Eugene, OR. Lois helped me with the mechanics of photo transfer and then, over the next four plus years I worked on this design little by little, putting in and taking out stitches, trying to capture the texture of the surrounds and the depth of the doorway set into the rock.

The pandemic forced me to focus on stash items so my little door came out again and I worked on it throughout 2020, again putting in stitches and taking them out. The most difficult part was trying to get the depth perspective correct between the rock wall on the left and the recessed doorway.

When stitching this design, I strove for texture and depth, always having them in mind. In doing so I very likely broke every formal stitching rule there is: sloppy French knots, stiches piled on stitches, twisted threads to create the illusion of folds in the rock, and so on. I know all the “rules” but purposely broke them all.

I love my little door. It reminds me of what a wonderful time my husband and I had on this tour. I think I have captured the essence of this curious little spot located between two beautiful little Italian towns. I do not know what was behind this little door. It’s a mystery, but one that is open to your own imagination.

Door ajar invites
Curiosity abounds
Why does it beckon

Enter here