antependium – first panel!

…well, panel seven, if you view it narratively, as I’m working from the bottom left of the piece and not really starting at the beginning, if you see what I mean?

That would make this…(hurriedly looks it up cos she has no idea what she’s been doing these last few weeks – well, lifetime actaully)…the presentation of christ in the temple combined with candlemass.

  I’m doing my best to keep the colours as close to the original as possible, which kind of goes agaisnt my nature a little, as I keep having to refer to the picture as though it were a chart. I have some leeway though when it comes to the dark blue and  brown/almost black, since I couldn’t decide on the original whether it was blue or black, so I dyed and am using both in tandem.

I’m still loving the colours on this, and still finding new layers of sophistication in it. One problem I keep encountering though, is fluffy bits – a lot of the time it’s not possible to out through a “clean” hole on this piece, so stuff gets dragged through from the back and I have to mess about sorting that. I think this may be partly due to the nature of the thread I’m using – although I dyed it, I didn’t spin it – I suspect that my bought modern wool thread is considerably fluffier than the original Icelandic homespun, especially since sheep of that era and area of the world tend to have harder, kempier, fleece, and also it may well have been a tighter twist – I know that if I personally were spinning wool to embroider with I’d proobably give it a little extra twist to toughen it.

  One thing I was really intrigued by was the interaction between the silk faces and the wool. I’m very pleased with the results even though I feel I have still some way to go before perfecting the technique. What I hadn’t expected, and what I don’t think the picture truly captures, is how that textural contrast reminds me of russian orthodox icons.

  And a snap of the panel before the detail stitching went in, to give you some idea of how much surface work is going on.

And before I go a quick apology to friends on blogger – I’ve tried to comment on several blogs today, including elmsley rose, but blogger hates me, sorry

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~ by opusanglicanum on August 23, 2011.

8 Responses to “antependium – first panel!”

  1. This is simply stunning!

  2. So beautifully done! A round of enthusiastic applause for you! In response to the wool. Even all those centuries ago, the kemp was still removed from the fiber before spinning. Some sheep had a coarser texture than others. These fleeces were spun with outerwear in mind and usually in the grease. Wool for embroidery was a finer fiber and had extra twist in the yarn as compared to that which was used to weave, just like today. Many of the extant embroideries are religious in subject, if not nature. Materials would have been the finest to be afforded by the needle worker or by the one who commissioned the work. Secular pieces, not destined for those of noble ranking, may have employed less fine materials, as would be expected of the merchant class, for example.

  3. Even if you are finding it occasionally challenging to stitch, it is looking fabulous!

    • its more itnersting than challenging, but with annoying fluffy bits

      annoying fluffy bits are not helped by branston, who keeps jumping between my lap and the frame, then shedding

  4. Ok, Im just wondering where did you find the pattern for this? It is just beautiful!

    • its an icelandic piece. I first came across it in an exhibition catalogue from the national museum of denmark, the exhibition was on queen magrede and the kalmar union. it appealed to me becasue its actually very old fashioned for the time period from which it stems

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