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Monday, February 12, 2018

Summer Week at the Guild: Opus Anglicanum

My second two day class at the SA Embroiderers' Guild Summer School was a class in Opus Anglicanum with Alison Cole. Alison spent several days attending the 2016-7 Opus Anglicanum Exhibition at the V&A, researching the exhibits and the history. Subsequently she has developed projects based on her research.  Our class was a triptych - three small pieces, one on linen, one on silk and one on velvet. Shown here are Alison's photos for the workshop.

 As it turned out, I could have spent two days on each!

Alison's skill and knowledge are deep and she is generous with her knowledge and her time.

We worked on the horse for most of the first day. I'd have loved to keep going with it, but needed to learn the skills for the other two pieces. I haven't posted a photo of my horse-in-progress because it would be too easy to use it to copy the design and techniques. I try to save my post until I have items finished, but I can see this is going to take some time at the moment. I'll post an account when the horse is finished.

Mary was also pleasant to work on. We had a bit of debate about her state of mind and I'm sure the finished class pieces will show a variety of changes to her expression!

I spent a bit of time on her chin, cloak and, at home, her crown.

Again,  Mary is unfinished and I will post more when she is completed.

The final piece, the acorn, is the one we spent least time on, and the one I decided to finish - largely because I thought it most easily achievable, but also because I had not embroidered on velvet before.

My tracing was decidedly wonky. I should have redrawn it, but didn't. My stitching, using the gold laying thread, was also far from perfect - even with magnification I was having trouble seeing clearly.

 Even so, the moment of truth was exciting!
All in all, the velvet rescued me, and it wasn't too bad!

I had given some thought to what I might do with the three pieces. Framing and mounting holds little appeal for me.

I dug out a couple of small boxes I have had for a while - intending to put initials on them for my granddaughters.

The horse and the acorn fit perfectly. I needed a staple gun to hold the insert in place as the box design does not allow much room for a backing.

I also added some stems to the leaves and a small central bead stem - hopefully these provide a little reshaping.

I have another plan for Mary!

Once again, thanks to Alison and a great group of women for two days of pleasure and learning.

1 comment:

Monica said...

I can imagine the discussion on Mary's expression! It is thought provoking, isn't it?

This looks like a really fun class, and I'm sure you all learned so much. I love the rich materials! Great finish, the box is very appealing. :D