Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tournament shield is complete

It was supposed to be a quick project, but it hasn't exactly been that. It has been an interesting and educational one though and I'm really glad I decided to make this.

The sanding didn't go as well as I'd hoped and I ended up having to rebuild the bottom set of points after they broke off. I also ended up adding a wood filler to the entire piece when the papier mache just wouldn't smooth and sand. I also added a bit of dimensionality to the cornucopia at the advice of my friend Marguerite. Sculpting with wood filler isn't exactly the best of ideas, in case you were wondering.

I spent some time reading  Cennino Cennini's Il Libro dell'Arte just because this is one of those interesting sorts of projects that artists would be called upon to do. Banners, embroidery designs, tournament shields, textile printing; it all had to be in the repertoire of the painter. I find the flexibility and scope fascinating.

The word impresa and the first emblem books are Italian, but my specific portrait reference is not, so I wanted to add a bit more Italian feel to my shield, so I referenced maiolica pieces when I added the scrollwork.

The piece I was most drawn to was this bowl by Maestro Giorgio Andreoli in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dated 1530. The hearts, flourishes and scrolls are lovely as are the colors. I also like the putto with his pinwheel. Perhaps it is because I love toys, I'm not really sure.

The colors of maiolica with the bright blues and yellows really appeal to me and let me go a little nuts on the shield. I felt it was only fitting with a motto meaning "More is Better" that more be involved. The cornucopia was just a little too plain. I also added the Greek version of my name "Parascovia" on the horn itself.

I feel ready for battle now. On, on, to the couch to continue couching the cappotto. (It just doesn't have the excitement of a charge, does it?)


  1. LOVE it you silly woman!!

    Wouldn't it be grand if these started showing up at feast halls and indoor events?

  2. I think that would be so cool. There was a lot of talking after my impresa class about how fun it would be to do ______. I like the fact that you can do multiple impresa depending on your mood and the day. I can seem me trying another soon. As for this one, it is certainly adding some Renaissance style to my sewing room. I'm sure it would like to go on the road at some point.