Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lucky red bead necklace

A recurring theme through many sixteenth century Italian Renaissance portraits is a red bead necklace. They are seen on middle/lower class women as well as noble ladies. Red coral was plentiful in Italy at the time, easy to shape, and visually appealing with its lustre and vibrant colour. Coral was used in jewellery for children because it was thought to protect them from danger and malicious influences. It is also seen in women's necklaces and as a horn-shaped charm (still worn by some Italian men to this day) and rosary/Paternoster bead sets. The colour red has traditional and ancient connections to blood and has been used in folk medicine as a healing agent over thousands of years and across many cultures.

Also, red beads look pretty, so I had to make myself a 'lucky' red bead necklace to go with my Italian garb!

The Fruit Seller, Vincenzo Campi. c. 1580
The Fruit Seller by Vincenzo Campi 1580
Image from: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/15340454950252510/

Vincenzo Campi - The fruit vendor
The FruitVendor by Vincenzo Campi
Image from: https://reproarte.com/en/choice-of-topics/category/food-and-drink/fruit/the-fruit-vendor-detail

Ghirlandaio's Portrait of a Girl
Image from: wikipaintings.org

Portrait of a Young Woman by Domenico Ghirlandaio
Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domenico_Ghirlandaio

Madonna di Senigallia by Piero della Francesca (1470s)
Image fromhttp://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/24/Madonna_di_Senigallia.jpg

Image from: http://milano.ilquotidianoitaliano.it/il-cibo-nellarte-mostra-brescia/

Contadina Paduana - Unknown Artist
Image from: http://www.starlightmasquerade.com/PortraitGallery/Ladder-Laced-Venetian/inspiration-pages/openbodice74.htm

Portrait of An African Slave Woman by Caracci
Image from: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Annibale_Carracci,_attrib.,_Portrait_of_an_African_Slave_Woman,_ca._1580s._Oil_on_canvas,_60_x_39_x_2_cm_(fragment_of_a_larger_painting.jpg/489px-Annibale_Carracci,_attrib.,_Portrait_of_an_African_Slave_Woman,_ca._1580s._Oil_on_canvas,_60_x_39_x_2_cm_(fragment_of_a_larger_painting.jpg

Portrait of a child - Sofonisba Anguissola
Portrait of a child by Sonofisiba Anguissola

portrait of a young girl, half-length, in a red dress with a white lace collar and cap by adriaen van der linde
Circle of Adriaen van der Linde
Portrait of a young girl, half-length, in a red dress with a white lace collar and cap

Two Sisters and Brother of the Artist

Unknown artist Portrait of a Girl holding a Rose & a Basket of Cherries (1568)
Image fromhttp://bjws.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/17c-children-on-checkerboard-floors.html

1590s Adriaen van der Linde (Dutch artist, 1560-1609) Portrait of a Young Girl, Adriaen van der Linde

 1605 Artist van Zelven (Probably a German artist) Portrait of a Child with a Dog 

1625 Unknown Artist of the Dutch school, Girl with cherries & doll

File:Flemish School Portrait of a Young Boy 1625.jpg
Portrait of a Young Boy - Flemish school

CIRCLE OF ADRIAEN VAN DER LINDE (Brugge c.1560 - 1609 Bolsward) Portrait of a Young Girl Aged Two with Dog
CIRCLE OF ADRIAEN VAN DER LINDE (Brugge c.1560 - 1609 Bolsward) Portrait of a Young Girl Aged Two with Dog

My beads are not coral (which is protected) but are a ceramic alternative. They are approximately 10mm in diameter and have a high lustre. They are simply strung on tiger tail wire with a small red glass seed bead spacer between them to help to show off the lovely shape of the large beads.

Portrait of Sibilla Kessel, c. 1540, Barthel Bruyn the Elder, Cologne

Portrait of Sibilla Kessel, c. 1540, Barthel Bruyn the Elder, Cologne

CORNEILLE DE LYON Portrait of Gabrielle de Rochechouart c. 1574 by fionasfancies via Flickr I believe her jewelry is coral beads
cORNEILLE DE LYON Portrait of Gabrielle de Rochechouart c. 1574

References and Bibliography

* Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precious_coral
* http://glimmerdream.com/gemjourneys/coral/history
* http://rosaliegilbert.com/necklaces.html
*  This site has a great list of myths and stories about coral: https://enchantedgems.wordpress.com/category/coral/coral-lore/

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wool cloak embroidery

I recently have been involved in a project to decorate some wool cloaks for friends. Another friend made the cloaks up in this lovely brown wool, and I decorated them with simple geometric embroidery, with the designs based on the recipients' heraldic devices.

The left side shows the first stage of embroidery - mid-green crochet cotton. The right side shows the darker green bar being added in stem stitch.

Although it doesn't show up well in the photo, there is a small stitch in light green added to the points of the triangles.

This one has a simple geometric design worked in crochet cotton (stem stitch).

Because the cloaks were unlined, I used bias binding to cover the back of the embroidery.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fencing Tabbards

I haven't posted recently because I have been busy helping some friends to learn to sew and make some fencing tabbards. It has been a long but very successful project, with the finished articles looking great and my friends learning some new skills. I can't wait to see them in action on the field!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Split Stitch Collar Panel Piece

Today I finished a split stitch panel designed for a shirt collar for a friend. It was a very rushed project, so I am not entirely satisfied with the quality of the stitching. The design is adapted from a pattern in a sixteenth century Modelbuch, and is worked is split stitch in DMC cotton floss on cotton-linen base fabric. The embroidery is knotted on the back for extra strength when it is machine washed. I think it will look very nice when made up.