Finished at last

I was far too tired to post the finished antependium pictures when I got home from Nottingham yesterday, and I had work today, so apologies for the delay. Special apologies to Caz, who texted me over the weekend to let me know that her mean brother wouldn’t send her the pictures and made her wait for the blog post.

This is the high resolution version from the aforementioned meanie Gareth’s camera, so if you click on it it ought to get quite big. He did make me a new set of trestles though, because the old ones weren’t as tall as the antependium. One of the priests on site thought this was about the right height for an altar though.

And here’s the dodgy mobile phone camera picture of the thing in situ (it was pretty grey all weekend). I usually dress the Royal tent with a display of secular silver, but went for a private chapel this weekend to show off my new pretty(it’s largely the same silver, as a lot of what we now see as religious silver was originally secular silver that was saved from being melted down and refashioned by being dedicated to some saint or church or wotnot) I forgot the blue and white tablecloth, so the eageleyed amongst you may notice that the cloth either side of the antependium doesn’t match – it’s because I draped two napkins instead.

To a certain extent I do realise that the antependium was largely overlooked this weekend because there’s just so much going in inside the King’s tent – ornate hangings, applique and embroidered banners, surcotes, the crown etc as well as the silver – but I don’t have a problem with this. When attempting to depict medeival royalty minimalism is bollocks – more is definately more. Quite frankly I think this tent needs more embroidery, more painted wood, and lots more silver.

NEED – more embroidery – one small project for the coming year is a noah’s ark hanging which I think will look nice behind the altar. I also want a cushion on top of the strongbox.

fancy scabbard for the kings sword

More light(Grumble grumble – am going to have to try and get my head round the chandaliers I abandoned a few years ago, must buckle down)

I also want a reliquary, silver, and preferably a body part. I’ve seen a finger reliquary that looks as if it’s making a rude gesture, I intend to call it the holy finger of saint snotticus, patron saint of nose pickers (this is what happens when you leave an athiest in charge of making your private chapel)

It was when the nice nuns from next door came in to pray that I realised I also need a small carpet (everything at Nottinham gets scattered with leaves, we pick them out the tents the next spring) with a couple of kneeling cushions on it.

Although this is not a big project, I think it needs some research. I seem to recall that the cushions I’ve seen various figures in medieval art kneeling down on are not at all like the modern, square sided church kneelers found today, but have tassels at the corners. This could be problematic as they will really need a wooden back to protect the embroidery from damp ground underfoot, so I think I need to research low footstools.

Hopefully JOhn will have some pictures of the whole tent with guards, as I seem to have forgotten

~ by opusanglicanum on October 30, 2012.

51 Responses to “Finished at last”

  1. Very, very nice. It’s beautiful. And looks great in place.

  2. My God! It’s Wonderful!

  3. Oh my goodness… wow! I hope you are duly proud of yourself. It is fantastic.

    (And, as a slight aside – I really admire how much time, effort, expense, thought and overall STUFF you put into your depictions. I see dozens (hundreds?) of re-enactors who seem to think if they wear bright/dark colours and strap on a sword and/or a crown then they’ve got ‘upper class’ down to a tee, no matter if they are wearing an ill-fitting synthetic/cotton bag and missing most of their clothing. You, however, not only have really nice handmade stuff but consistently have really nice handmade stuff and lots of it. Bravo. I hope one day I’ll bump into you and get to see it and you in the flesh.)

    • its a problem endemic in re enactment, and always has been. I like to do things properly though. the nylon nobility either hate me, or get all pally like we’re on the same level and I won’t notice the synthetic tunics, which is, erm… interesting…

      Whereabouts do you live? your adress says uk – I usually get to berkely(although not with a lot of living history) and occaisionally tewkesbury, and am usually around at TORM as a trader

      • Ugh. Tell me about it. The ‘nylon nobility’ irritate me and their cousins the ‘everyone-wore-mud-doncha-know peasants’ also…

        I’m oh-so-slowly attempting to improve my stuff.

        My group is in S. Wales but I’m currently just N. of London. I tried to get to Berkley for the first time this year but, of course, that didn’t happen. Other than that, it depends on real life (damned PhD…). So, probably no TORM for me this year (although I think I did bump into you last year at Quartermasterie and admired your henin).

      • slowly is sometimes the best way

        maybe we’ll meet up at berkely next year then – it can’t be flooded two years in a row, can it? mind you, there does tend to be a fair few nylon nobs at berkely

      • If I can get there, it sounds like a plan. ^_^ Now, to endeavour to remember this plan…

  4. Congratulations on this spectacular piece! I’ve bee following your progress, and have enjoyed every stitch. Thank you for sharing this remarkable journey. I truly love this piece! — Cindy in Cape May, NJ

  5. A truly wonderful piec of work!!!!

  6. exquisite!

  7. Wow, it looks great. Well done. Fantastic achievement. The nuns look like they really like it.

  8. Very well done indeed! It’s been a long job, but worth the effort. As you say, the medievals didn’t “do” minimalism, so the more the merrier!

  9. I think you are now under obligation to have children. This piece is far far too precious not to be passed down the family line. Seriously. It’s just stupendous.

  10. This is beyond description. I am amazed and awed by the time, workmanship and how many darn stitches are in this thing! Well done. It is beautiful.

  11. Very beautiful work. I can imagine the sense of accomplishment you feel in having completed such an intricate piece. Congrats!

    • I think my main sense of accomplishment so far comes from getting the enormous frame out of my living room. I really want to start my next project, but am making myself wait until after christmas cos I don’t want to start really getting into something and them have to abandon it for a month to make way for the annual christmas present making binge

  12. I think it’s absolutely magnificent. I would love to see it in the flesh. Will it get exhibited elsewhere?

    • it will go to museuems and reenactments with me as part of my display, but its been years since i did any kind of formal exhibition. gareth keeps saying he wants to sell some of my stuff in posh london art galeries for tens of thhousands, but I dont think he quite gets why I do things. maybe I should threaten to sell a few of his favourite pitcher plants?

  13. Amazing masterpiece! Am I right You did all antependium? I’ve seen just the beginning.
    And you’re right – it’s better to have lower class in reenactment, but to be dressed properly (fabrics, patterns etc.). I love fantasy, e. Discworld, but I understand, that ecclectism is good for fantasy .

    • yes, I did the whole thing, even dyed the threads. I think you can get away with a certain amount of informed guesswork with authentic reenactment, but its easy to get carried away

  14. Wow, this is stunning. If a temporal accident drops you in the 10th century, I know how you’ll make your living!

    The entire altar is impressive too, but I agree you need a carpet. A faux oriental rug (the big department store chains sell them) would be just the thing; they are artificial fiber but still look pretty convincing. Price depends on size but unless you go hog-wild with a room-sized model you should get away with one for less than $100 USD.

    • how did you know about my plans to earn a living as a high class courtesan when I go back to the c10th!?!

      It will be a rush mat rather than a carpet, as I doubt such an expensive item would have been put on the floor in norman times, even by royalty. unless, that is, I persuade john to haul around a metre square of plywood tiled in medieval floor tiles

  15. It is exquiste and worthy of high praise! Congratulations on such a fine work!

  16. Stunning Work! Where is the Love Button!!!! brings that much more to the overall ambiance.

  17. […] done entirely in naturally dyed wools and silk.” The detail of this work is astonishing. Go to her blog post for an image you can click to enlarge. And scroll back through her blog to enjoy not only the development of this project but also the […]

  18. Very beautiful–I’ll be looking forward to seeing the progress of the Reliquary of St. Snotticus as well, or whatever you decide to go with.

    What did you learn in the making of this piece?

  19. Wow! Just wow!….what type of stitching did you use?

  20. […] dyed wool (madder, weld, cochineal, indigo, walnut – mostly what was left over from the reykjahlid antependium project, plus a few extras) on manx […]

  21. […] think I got even more bored with these than I did with the panels from the antependium because I had to do them all at […]

  22. […] I’ve kept it hanging around thinking that i might as well finish it once I’d got the antependium out of the way. Since I find myself ebtween projects for the next few weeks I hought I might as […]

  23. […] had been to use the dark brownalmost but not quite black that I dyed a few years ago for the antependium project, but theres only about half a skien of that left, nowhere near enough to do all of […]

  24. I wish you would sell more of your of your Medieval Embroidery than your applique. I would love to buy in kits the three you have in note cards in a embroidery kit. I think your designs and Medieval embroidery are superb!!!!!!!

    • two of the designs,- the griffin and the dragon, are on the cards for sale and are for sale as kits. two of the card designs will never be patterns as they’re huge – the one with nine circles was two years work, the deisgn as a pattern would be a book unto itself, and the noah’s ark would be the same

  25. […] the internet for a while will know, this is a very period approach to laid and couched work, as the antependium was done in the same style, and is based on an extant […]

  26. […] I’m really liking the contrast of the silk faces against the wool bodies. I’ve used wool for the dark outlines and silk for the flesh, so I think they’re better integrated than the silk faces on the antependium  […]

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