Thursday, December 22, 2011
Filigree flag fan
My last attempt at a venterolla/weathercock fan/flag fan was a quicky thing I threw together to motivate myself and I have never been particularly thrilled with it. The handle was too short and I didn't care for the fact that it spun around on the stitches that attached the fan to the handle. After seeing the GORGEOUS fan Angela Bacci made for Idle Hands I was even more determined that I needed a fantastic fan. Angela's is machine embroidered and I don't have that option, nor the months I'd need to do the goldwork by hand but the filigree she used for the handle gave me an idea. I had the same square pieces in stash that I've used for hats and the collar on my zibillino and a bunch of other projects over the years. I was going to just do like she had and wrap the handle and then do the fan of cutwork leather. I even made a fan that way. Its very bright and fun, but after it was done it seemed more like Russian folk art than something for an Italian fan. That's not to say that the flag fans weren't fun. They were printed with rebus puzzles and music and other things.(Again, I'm taking documentation from Purple files archived page.) This image from At Home in Renaissance Italy is of a rebus puzzle poem from the late 16th century by Giulio Cesare Croce.
rebus from Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks (he composed dozens of them) and put it on a fan, but it just wasn't what I wanted for this one. This fan had to rival the peacock feather one I'd already made for elegance and decadence.
I considered doing a cut paper fan, especially after seeing Aine's printable fan based on the extant vellum one in the Marselleti collection in Venice.
I love the lacey reticella effect. So, I pulled out some bristol board and my filigree bits and started assembling my supplies. Seeing the filigree on the paper gave me a new idea, however, and the wheels started turning. I glued the filigree to the paper (on both sides) and thought I was happy with it, but then considered color. Then I added pearls and beads to the handle which meant I needed pearls on the fan. It kept escalating. After all, as Praksedys will tell you, "More is more." I can easily see how regulations forbidding decadent ones like the 1522 statute forbidding "fans of lynx and ermine with handles of gold and silver encrusted with jewels and pearls" happened. They're addictive. For further information on statutes and some great pictures, check out Anea's page on flag fans.