Having just had a lovely family Christmas with my daughter in France (freezing and cold outside but log fires and warming food in) I have taken stock of projects, ideas and goals that have, for whatever reason not been done in 2017. Not that I wasn’t stitching when even possible but there was no telephone, doorbell or email essential to respond to.
A response we had from a recent article was from an American now living in London whose step-grandmother worked the most amazing three fold screen during the Second World War. The theme was Alice in Wonderland and one can see from these illustrations the Mad Hatters’ Tea Party, Alice and the Queen with the Jam Tarts. Fortunately the stitcher’s initials and the date 1944 are visible. The lady was obviously a proficient stitcher as among the photographs I was also sent a French style Berger chair and a round cushion with flowers and a humming bird. I believe that all these designs were the stitcher’s own ideas, should any be recognised as commercially available, please accept my apologies, with the distance of time it is virtually impossible to check.
The other information I try to give is for museums, up-coming exhibitions or events that may well be of interest to you my fellow stitchers.
The V & A has an exhibition ‘English Needlework, May Morris’ a two day class on 26 & 27 January; booking on line at their web site. Wish I could go but sadly already busy.
The Cite Internationale de la Tapisserie Aubusson – The Nave of Tapestries – My daughter lives quite close to Aubusson (closest airport Limoges and new destination Brives) and I have been fortunate to visit this collection twice. First when she moved there about 10 years ago and just this month. What a transformation, interesting then but now a truly mind blowing experience. A new beautifully custom designed building, a staggering collection of tapestries dating as early as the 15 century well hung and on a complete floor, displays, explanations of the various techniques and materials, a small display of world tapestries and a teaching facility that, unfortunately we did not have time to explore. Oh to have the opportunity to visit that department – another time I hope. Finally be sure to pick up the excellent guide (available too in English) that has great explanations.
This brings me on to an upcoming exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery that would augment the Aubusson collection. ‘Drawings for Catherine de Medici.
This is a Collection of artists’ drawings prepared for tapestry designs that could be woven at an atelier such as those in Aubusson and the towns close by. In the guide already mentioned many of the tapestries list the original artist whose drawings/paintings were the inspiration for that tapestry. Unfortunately, checking through few of the artists of that period were known – it was in the later 19 and 20th century that these records were kept. Wouldn’t it be wonderful linking this London exhibition to the museum in Aubusson that some extra provenance could be discovered?This exhibition runs 18 January to 15th April and details can be found here.
My next blog will be out shortly and concentrates on a ‘New Look at Needlepoint’; recently I am just so excited about ‘shadow stitching’ lacy stitches that allow painted designs show through; I am delaying the final words till I finish a project that is to offered in Tuscany (May 2018) that employs the technique among others.Did you have the opportunity of reading the Golden Rules of Needlepoint I posted in November; many of you let me know they really did find it helpful. Might I suggest you check it out?
Special Thanks to the Gilmour's for their Alice photographs.