Architectural Blackwork

Quick post today given my dominant thumb was injected with steroid today due to “trigger thumb.”  If you don’t normally look at Mary Hickmott’s New Stitches, you should look at issue No. 211.  Part 3 of a 3 part series of patterns of architectural blackwork is on page 50.  The title is Romanesque Blackwork and it is gorgeous!  To see all three sections of this piece visit the StitchDirect.com catalogue.  You may have to hit the control button as you click on this link.

When you get to that page, click on the Blackwork tab on the directory.  Click on the Button for Buildings on that page.  Then look for Romanesque, all three parts!  Then debate with yourself about ordering the patterns or finding the Mary Hickmott mags instead.  You can find her mags at the same site under the magazines tab on the left.  I’m a fan of her magazines for the diversity and the fact that she often has blackwork patterns.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

LESSON ONE (continued)

For those who have recognized that Catherine was merely a vehicle for getting “Spanishe Work” to Great Britain, it is widely believed that the style was actually born in Morroco.  This, I believe, is true to an extent.  One must look at the history of that part of the world to have a better understanding of this embroidery.  Do not forget the importantance of the Byzantine Empire and all that was “borrowed” from that powerful and large influence–the beauty of the churches, mosaic works, the opulence of gold work and use of other gems in art.  And the weight of one’s faith or connection to religion.  One must also remember the importance of trade routes to the Far East, i.e., The Silk Road.  Textiles and fibers for making and enhancing textitles were valuable trade resources at both ends of “the Road.”  All of these influences informed the ultimate creation of Catherine’s world and her stitching.

When the Islamic world began to stretch out and occupy more lands, one faction gained power on the Iberian Peninsula.  This group is said to have come from Morroco and the term associated with that time in Spain was “Moorish.”  It has also been suggested that these “Moors” were tolerant of other cultures in the land they occupied.  This might be because they did not raze the old churches and community places, but instead embellished them and augmented them to meet the needs of their Islamic faith.   In fact, they were as ruthless as any other colonizer in history.   (To be continued….)

Welcome to the Introduction of the Lessons

Why Word Press made me say “Hello, World” when all I want to do is speak to the Stitching World, I’ll figure out later when I start my pages for “The Shop Sampler,” a project you’ll love to follow and emulate yourself  I’ll bet!

A bit about me.  Like many I started stitching when I was a preteen.  Don’t remember the exact age, but I do remember my first finished piece.  It was a stamped sampler in autumn colors that my mother framed and hung in her walk in pantry.  I’m not sure where it is now as Mom doesn’t have that walk in pantry or even that house any longer.

Again like many, I took a break from stitching during my teens and early 20s.  Then I focused on oil painting and other forms of self-expression, flannel shirts, jeans, shaggy hair, devotee of Leonard Cohen music, and POW bracelet on the wrist.  ( I was finally able to retire the bracelet when Lt.Col Bernard Conklin’s remains were returned to the U.S. in the late ’80s.  I was living in the DC suburbs then and went to the Wall to make sure there was a cross put next to his name.  It was there.  I thought of his daughter and my friend, Jan.)

My interests in stitching cover the gamut, but always comes back to embroidery stitches. Did you know you can put them anywhere?!   I especially love the connection to history I feel when stitching.  I think that is why I am so passionate about blackwork these days.  It is a history that noone seems to have a lot to say about.  The names Catherine of Aragon and Chaucer come up and, of course, Hans Holbein who not only painted Henry the 8th revealing the blackwork on Henry’s clothing, but Holbein also did some decorating and clothing design for Henry.  Maybe that’s why he painted the embroidery so clearly?  Maybe those were articles he created for Henry?

That’s what this blog is about.  Blackwork.  Where did it come from?.  How do you do it?  How is it changing with modern fibers and fabrics?  If you express an interest we could even gather via Yahoo Groups to have a meeting and share thoughts, patterns, and our passion for this lovely form of embroidery.  I’ve already got the room ready.  Come visit for a spell.

Now, I’m off to photograph my current project to use as a header for The Lessons.  Later…