•August 29, 2017 • 3 Comments

Is for kings. Who give away expensive books.

I used silk for the laid and couched work, because a king wouldn’t wear wool. There is a document showing many Saxon kings holding up the great churches they have built, and I used that for inspiration, but obviously he is holding up the g in king.

If you want to you can interpret that as a metaphor of some sort, perhaps for his support for the institution of monarchy, but I’m not that clever and I just thought it made a nice composition.



•August 28, 2017 • 6 Comments

is for jewels.

technically, this was the first letter I did, because the jewel settings were made whilst I was still working on the Christmas dragon. I used amber (honestly, I bought those two long thin amber pieces about a year ago, thinking that were weren’t much use for medieval, but they were such an odd shape I had to have them – but I thought they’d just sit in my rock stash and look pretty until I died) amethyst, citrine, garnet, moonstone, opal, ruby, and a random enamel that was left over from my Norman dress collar.

Plus pearls, lots of pearls.

I planned out the shapes on paper before I set the stones, but I had an accident whilst setting them. You might notice that one of the amber rods is a bit wonky, and thats because I broke it. I didn’t want a lot of weight, and I figured these would never have to take the stress of being worn on a garment, so I used copper foil for the back of the settings, but I slipped setting the first amber, twisted the setting and broke the stone.

However it fortuitously broke in the right direction for the curve of the J, so I just jammed it back together and stabilised the whole thing with a bit of epoxy resin. Yes, I am that lazy.



•August 25, 2017 • 6 Comments

is for illumination.

I used the little roundel based on an anglo-taxon brooch that I did in spring, and made it the O


•August 24, 2017 • 2 Comments

is for holes.

I’d been already aware of the holes and their repairs in extant ms (there was a good article a few years ago in medieval clothing and textiles) and I’d been wanting to play with the technique. They occur mostly in the less important documents, and the less important pages, and are either flay holes from the processing of the skin, or are scars on the animal’s hide.But when I went on the open day one of the things that fascinated me the most was the way the animal remains physically present in the refined document, and I wanted to use this in my piece.

Obviously these are done in the wool, rather than in a skin, but the technique is the same. Alas, I was unable to get my hands on any vellum with a flay hole.

The technique is basically buttonhole stitch in sturdy silk, although it was a little bit nerve-wracking to cut holes in fabric under tension.


•August 23, 2017 • 6 Comments

is for gold – what else?

This was one of the first panels I decided upon the scheme for, so I’m glad it worked out well.

Theres a piece of silk behind for colour, because the white wouldn’t have looked rich enough, and then the gilded leather is just cut away in the shape of the letters and edge with couched silk.

It reminds me of some of the gold book covers I’ve seen.


•August 22, 2017 • 4 Comments

for French.

Gareth argued that putting a cute froggy on the French panel was racist, so I asked foudebassan, who is actually French, and she said it wasn’t, so Nyah.

Plus medieval frogs are just weird looking and I’ve been wanting to embroider one for ages.

And yes, there is a tiny snail sliding his way up the side of F, I’m trying to sneak in at least half a dozen snails because they’re obviously utterly hilarious to medieval minds (don’t ask me why)



•August 21, 2017 • 6 Comments

E is for English, not really that common until the later medieval. I used an appliqué rose, which is rather sweet, but once I’d finished it I realised I should have shown st George with his spear poking the dragon who is diagonally below.

I can’t really unpick it, as the green leaves a mark on the white background. So I’ve rolled it on and told myself that if I finish before the entry deadline I’ll go back and either lift out the entire white square and replace it, or think about how I can edit somehow (possibly leave the rose and have a tiny st George hiding among the frond)