•September 19, 2017 • 3 Comments

is for tremulous.

I actaully started planning this project shortly after the initial workshop (by planning I mean that I scrawled a few notes on a bit of manky cardboard – but for me that’s an impressive amount of prep) but I was really struggling with T. Then at the last Ashmolean class Chris suggested the tremulous hand of worcester.(That’s a famously wobbly scribe)

Which was a truly brilliant suggestion, with one snag.

I can’t spell Worcester without the aid of spellcheck, and we all know about my propensity for scribal errors, don’t we?

So Instead I bring you the tremulous hand with Worcestershire sauce.

close enough?


July, the female labours

•September 18, 2017 • 8 Comments

In the men’s labours June, July, and August are all harvesting and threshing images, which emphasises the central role of agriculture in medeival life, but to be honest it got a bit boring. So in the female version I’ve pared it down to one image, and Mrs july is helping with the harvest, although she could just have easily have been gleaning – worrever, she is making the point that often men and women worked side by side in medeival agriculture.

There was a lot of playing in this image. The wheat is pretty standard, but I had another go at the circular treatment of ground I noticed so much at the V and A exhibition, but this time using two more contrasting colours. My hope was to depict the stubble post harvest, but kids have been asking me for months if I’m sewing a pizza, and then pointing out that the tree looks like a mushroom on top…

Actaully I think that’s brilliant. I told Gareth about it whilst he was wet stretching it for me, and after he’d stopped laughing he told me all about how he once co-wrote a paper becasue he’d genetically engineered a plant to extract explosive toxins from agricultural land in warzones. He said he just tweaked the plant, the other guy did all the research.

I’m pretty pleased with the tree, actaully, it’s like the little medeival lollipop tree of M C Escher.

July’s cats are Newt and Tadpole. In reality they never met. Newt broke my heart by getting some sort of leukaemia/lymphoma and dying when he was only two (I spent months nursing him), Tadpole came along straight after and was named in his honour. Then Tadpole broke my heart again, I came home one day and he was all dead and contorted on the floor at only 18 months old. The vet was so concerned he did a post mortem, concluding that it was a sudden, massive heart attack. They two  very sweet little greykins (well, actaully, they were both enormous cats) so I thought it would be nice if they could chase mice in the sun together, because I think they would have got along famously.

I will get back to the ABC tomorrow

ABC news

•September 15, 2017 • 33 Comments

Just got an Email, the Abc scroll has made the shortlist in the Bodleian competition


•September 14, 2017 • 12 Comments

is for sheep. Especially since my scroll is meant to be for the education of young sheeps.

I used fluffy silk couched down on top of gilded leather. It’s an example of medeival techinque and materials used in a not particularly medeival way, but I wanted him to look like the golden sheep of Greek legend – no reason we can’t have the odd classical reference in a medeival project. He was meant to be couched in celtic spirals, but that didn’t quite work out, the fluffy silk was too fluffy.

I did get quite annoyed with myself though, because I got halfway through and realised I’d sewn him on upside down. I was tempted to make him an antipodean sheep, since even with a glovers needle leather isn’t that easy to sew, but I grumpily picked him off and started again.

He looks very pleased with his golden self, doesn’t he?


•September 13, 2017 • 7 Comments

is for repairs.

You may or may not know my long running fascination with the value of textiles in the middle ages- it’s a big part of why I get so interested in applique. The Bodleian workshop similarly focused on the re-use and repair of parchment and manuscripts, showing several text with repairs, or even instances of legal texts being scratched out and used for playscripts.

This panel might perhaps look a little tatty alongside it’s grander nieghbours, but that’s sort of the point.

footnote – the only reason you get a post today is that I lined it up before bed last night, just before the tummy bug kicked in. the only reason I’m sat here now is I’m trying to ring today’s client and cancel, but their phones engaged. wanna go back to bed


•September 12, 2017 • 3 Comments

is for Quill,

Although that’s not actually a quill, because it’s an appropriately sized pigeon feather I found in the garden – still, that’s a “found object” so it makes me dead trendy in modern art terms, innit?

I think I might have accidentally included some ancient eygptian hieroglyphics with the feather Ls, which seems appropriate enough, and the little fox stealing the quill bearing goose is, of course, from the Luttrell psalter.

dragon pdf

•September 11, 2017 • 2 Comments

Chris dragon pattern