Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pewter, silk, pearls, and tassels

Since no one had the time to read my documentation at 12th Night, I figured I'd just finish up posting the last few items I made to go with the patchwork dress.
A little drier than normal, but I'll try to throw in a few jokes to keep y'all on your toes.
First up, my poste (actually probably a sottoposte because its a lesser quality of silk) a silk scarf to be used as a belt.

As my dress is a transitional style from the 1530’s and the portrait does not have a waist ornament, there are a couple of possibilities as to what could be worn with it. To give myself some options, I decided to make a poste or silk belt sash. Poste were an extremely popular export item of the Venetian silk industry. They were worn by both men and woman throughout Italy and the general use scarves were exported throughout the continent. Originally fine scarves intended for a variety of uses, as the 16th century went on, they became more and more narrow. By the second quarter of the 16th century they were sometimes described as narrow as eight inches. They were decorated with velvet, tassels and other ornaments.
Although Bacchiacca’s painting, “The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist” is earlier than my dress, it provides a good look at a long poste with tassels. I have included several other paintings with silk sashes tied at the waist that have more in common with my dress (balzo, full upper sleeves etc.)

Bacchiacca’s The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist

Portrait of a Woman by Paolo Zacchia the Elder

In making my sash, I chose to use a scrap of bronze silk and blue cotton tassels made from crochet cotton. I added a blue decorative stitch on the edges using my sewing machine. To add further weight to the tassels, I topped them with pewter castings of my krin (heart with fleur) badge. The castings are my first attempt at pewter casting, made in a class HRM Clare and Mistress Giliana taught at Collegium. I carved the mold in class and we poured the castings at that time. I filed them at home and drilled some holes in order to attach them to the sash. For further decoration, I painted them copper and bronze with enamel paints and stitched through pearls that seat into the drilled holes.
References used:
The Silk Industry of Renaissance Venice by Luca Mola p. 168
Sugar and Gamurre’s article on poste.

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