Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Happiness is mine!


Look at this picture!  Isn't it wonderful!?

I have worked at Stanford University Hospital for over five years and never visited the campus library.  Today I went and I now have a big smile that won't leave my face because there were so many wonderful books.  I am not allowed to check any out, just to put them on hold and make as many scans as I like.  I wandered the stacks in a state of bliss.  With the research I can do here I will be able to make as many embroidery patterns as I like.  I am so happy it doesn't even matter that I wore very inappropriate shoes for walking around on campus and my feet bled or that it was 100 degrees and my refrigerator broke.

Most of the books with good pictures are older and the pictures are mostly b/w but I did find a few color photos.  Here is the best color photo that I found today.  The book is in German which I do not understand except with the help of Google translator.  It has a few pictures of embroideries but only this one color photo of the counted satin stitch/brick stitch which is my focus.

    Appuhn, Horst.  Kloster Isenhagen Kunst und Kultur im Mittelalter.  Lüneburg, Museumsverein für das Fürstentum Lüneburg, 1966

Note that in the picture there is the outline of a donkey(?) that is not filled in with embroidery. I like the unfinished bits because they give clues to how things were made.  Also my first impression with my modern point of view is that the angels are holding forks with fish speared on them for roasting over a fire and that it looks like baby Jesus is being served up on a table with the cow salivating over him.  However I am certain that is not the correct interpretation.

13 comments:

Chris Laning said...

*Ooooooo!* I want one!

I admit I'm stumped, too, by what the angels are holding. I will contemplate and see if anything suggests itself. Probably not toasting forks, though ;)

Kathy Storm said...

I want one too! Now I have to hurry and finish what I am working on so I can start a new project! I can't wait!

wortschmiedin said...

Oh dear google translator is ...well lets call it inventive ... or be more accurate and say that it sucks with regard to german. If you need some word by word translation (nothing with literary flow) let me know at my lj, and I will translate it for you. :D that way you get to do the research and I get to profit by association :D :D ;) (BTW did I tell you I am almost bilingual in ENglish and german. That is one lovely pic, btw

Kathy Storm said...

Thank you very much! I'll remember that when I go back to scan the text.

wortschmiedin said...

I think I have now enabled the comment function to accept non lj comments too. I hope so at least. I am not teh brightest when it comes to forms and comps. I mean it, Translationwise :D thanx for the help on the quilting design quest

Racaire said...

Thank you very much :)

helene said...

Thank you so much for posting this picture! Its beautiful! I have so few color examples available to me. I will use these color combos in my next patterns :)

Richard Wymarc said...

As for the donkey. Take a close look at the outline, it appears to have fragments of embroidery material clinging to it. Also, parts of the face show a pattern of needle holes familiar to anyone who has had to unpick a section of this embroidery to fix an error. I think that at one time the donkey was finished, but the embroidery thread has deteriorated and crumbled over the centuries. Some of the mordents used to fix the dyes were rough on silk. If you look closely at other embroideries of the time you will find similar cases of missing threads.

Kathy Storm said...

I think that is very possible. It is always a shame when it is obvious that embroidery was once there and isn't now, or when colors are badly faded. When people recreate medieval things they sometimes use muted color palettes with textiles or stain wood dark when the original were brightly colored textiles or unstained/painted wood. If people from back then saw how their things look now they would probably think them badly faded and shabby.

Hanna said...

I was so happy I found the Appuhn book, but I couldn´t find this piece. Do you happen to have any other information on it, like size, thread count or so? I would just looove to make it! Thank you so much!

Kathy Storm said...

Sorry Hanna, I don't have info like that. More detailed info is likely in the Renate Kroos book if you can get that at a university library or through ILL. It's in German, so I haven't read it and I didn't make scans of the text.

You probably will be OK using a thread count somewhere between 28 and 40.

Hanna said...

Thank you! I will get the Koors book within the next days and find out. When an overall size is given, I might estimate the thread count from a stitched sampler... Now I am excited!

Hanna said...

Hi,
I got the Kroos book! Although the colour picture you have here is not in that book, either, I found out that those chicken drumsticks are incense burners. They are on some of the other scenes of that antependium.
Hanna