Coming back to this after the summer break and taking a fresh look. At summer school, we discussed ideas for backgrounds and also whether it needs to be wall-mounted or could stand on a table top. In particular, how to bring in stitching as an integral part. I messed around with threads and soluble fabrics but nothing seemed right so I tried using lutradur.
I machined lots of overlapping lines in gold thread on a piece of lutradur 70 coloured it, zapped with a heat gun then added more layers of paint before cutting out cog shapes. The picture above shows the front and back of these shapes so you can see the colour difference. I decided I liked this effect so I tried adding the mock-ups of the moving shapes...
... and didn't like it at all. Maybe a different arrangement?
Maybe not. It is all a bit too solid compared to the background. In a last effort before packing up for the day, I grabbed some of the cog-shaped off-cuts of treated lutradur and put them on as the moving parts - they looked pretty good but I forgot to take a picture. So I am going to colour and stitch some more cogs and break them into pieces, so that the top layer becomes fragments, and will see how that looks. I have pretty much decided that I will make this piece to stand on a table and be seen from above, and have attached battens to the back for it to rest on. It could be adapted for wall-hanging but it is rather heavy.
Cleaning the upstairs rooms may have to wait a few more days while I get this sorted.