Tuesday, 27 November 2012

van Eyck by Till-Holger Borchert - A Review

van Eyck
Till-Holger Borcher
ISBN 10: 3822856878

Van Eyck is the painter behind the Arnolfini Portrait (1434) which depicts the wedding of a young couple in exquisite detail. His work features many portraits (my main reason for purchasing this book) and a number of religious pieces.  Though only 25 paintings can be attributed to van Eyck, this book details a chronological summary of the artists life and work. The author has also included a number of works that are termed ‘Eyckan’ which could be attributed to van Eyck. The author discusses the history of van Eyck’s style, his use of colour and light as well as his symbolism. Though my interest in this book is primarily in the pictures, the reasonably dense text provides some wonderfully supportive information. With 96 pages containing approximately 100 colour illustrations, I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in van Eyck’s work or history. For SCA types, the detail that van Eyck was able to paint is exquisite, the paintings make great references for jewellery and dress accessories.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Goldhaube update

So I decided to start on the goldhaube I've been meaning to do for a while. I took a shortcut and used the semi-circle that I cut out at the early stages of my whitehaube. I have since couched on gold cord (acquired from Spotlight one Christmas). As you can see from the image below, couching perpendicular to the direction of the cord (cord on right running diagonally down to the right) resulted in a cord that sort of squiggled. After couching three cords thinking I'd improve with practice (it's my first time, see?) I changed my approach. I ended up couching along the twist of the cord. This has the benefit that it's harder to pick out my threads and the cords run straighter.

I then sewed on glass pearls to the junctions of the gold cord. It's nice to have a project where I can finally use the glass pearls I bought from Sunrise last time I was in Qld. During the pearling, I over-couched some of the more wibblie cords.

I've also stitched down the rounded edge (not shown) to cover the ends of the gold cord.

Things left to do:
~ apply some form of band decoration, either with pearls or a chain of gold circles.
~ sew down the back band over the gold cord ends
~ gather the back band, securly
~ add some loops or something to help me pin this to my hair (though, I suspect if my hair is up in two buns, I won't need to pin the haube on)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Mamluk peacocks - Embroidery chart

Mamluk embroidery, 1250 - 1517. The original was linen embroidered with blue silk in pattern darning in running stitch.

Peacock from page 41 of "Embroideries and samplers from Islamic Egypt" by Marianne Ellis. Most (?) of the items come from the Ashmolean Museum The items cataloged in this book can also be seen here.

My first ever attempt at charting a pattern. Rather than make the 'weave' square, I have elongated the x axis as the original pattern was sewn over two threads of the ground fabric and the x direction was slightly wider than the y. I'm sure this has something to do with the tension / set up of the loom but this is an area where I completely lack for knowledge.