Sunday, January 15, 2012

Designing the stomacher embroidery

This is the beautiful, beautiful pattern from Giovanni Osthaus Perfection of Design, published in 1561 that we're going to substitute for the panel under the ladder lacing. It has Fia's heart aflame dead center. She used that little bit for Alyvia's fan embroidery that she entered in Idle Hands. I think its such a beautiful design and have been in love with it since I first saw it. Obviously, though, its not quite as perfectly in line with my heraldry as it is with Fiametta's. I looked at the other similarly shaped pattern in the modelbuch, but it just doesn't have the same charm. It has more of an abstract scroll design rather than the whimsy of the figures in this one. So, I've decided to completely redraw it, making it very Praksedys. It's going to have a bit more Russian influence than would be reasonable historically. The birds up top are going to become Sirin. That's sort of a cross between a bird of paradise, a mermaid, and a harpy. They're very popular in Russian folk art and show up in enameled jewelry at least as early as the 11th century and continue into 19th century woodcuts. One of my favorite paintings is by Victor Vasnetsov from 1896 and has both the Siren and its counterpart, the Alconost. They're the birds of joy and sorrow, As there are two in the panel I might made them a little non-symmetrical (which is so totally NOT Russian) and make one of each.

The heart aflame will be switched out for my heart and fleur/krin. I think I might also tweak the shape of the grape leaves. In part that's because Russia doesn't really grow grapes, but the other major reason is a desire to change the symbolism of the panel. The grape is a Christian symbol, especially when wreathing the heart aflame as they do. I don't see any reason to keep them as I'm changing everything else. I'm considering swapping them out for maple leaves as my highest award is the Order of the Golden Maple Leaf (it's the AoA level arts award for Artemisia.) The little spoon handle shaped bit there at the bottom might find itself turned into a peacock. But, you say, that just brings the Christian symbolism back in. Shhhhh. I like them and Juno is my patron goddess (not that Praks would approve) so I have other reasons. There's also the massive Byzantine influence on Russian decorative art and the preponderance of peacocks in ornamental art. Also, as the dress will be blue and gold, it fits in to the color scheme.

So, lots of drawing in my future.


  1. OH OH OH I love the idea of you doing a Russian version of this. Are you making this for the super twinner dress o' doom?

    I go back and forth if I want to have the stomacher be This *points up* or be the fabric as shown in the original art..
    Then again, I keep going back on either shells or flames mwahahah

  2. yup, its for the twinner dress. I keep looking at the seashells and wondering about changing them as well. If I stencil the velvet with the heart design, though it'd probably be overkill to make the scallops hearts too. Also, I really like them as they are because they're just so cool. Little needlelace samplers, how do you beat that? I've drawn several different shapes, trying to figure out something that'd work half as well and am not coming up with much. I know I'm changing out the weird beaded tassels on the sleevehead though. They're just clunky.