Sunday, December 27, 2015

A better organized list of Modelbuchs

I figure the easiest way to do this was to use Lotz' list and include links to digital versions as I find them. He somewhat separates the sections of the list by country in which the were printed, beginning with the German ones. That doesn't mean that the publisher was from that country, just that the book was published there. For instance Vecellio (an Italian) is found in the German section. This mixes of the dates a bit as the later German books will thus have lower numbers than the early Italian books. For example, 63 is a German book from the late 17th century, 64 is an Italian book published in 1527.  Lotz has most of these further subdivided with multiple editions (1a, 1b etc.) As I have not included each edition and they were often published in different cities, I have not included the city of publication. The only dates listed are those of the first edition. Most of these were published repeatedly throughout the period. As an example, #2 was published in 1524, 1525, 1526, 1527,  and 1529 by Schonsberger. That doesn't include the number of times his plates were sold and re-used or re-cut by other publishers.

In some cases the name the book is tagged by in the link does not match what I have listed here. I have put these exactly as Lotz designated, Some names are slightly different in different editions. With the long rambling titles that some of these books have, I am not surprised that different people call them different things.


1) Schonsperger, Furm oder Modelbuchlein (1523) Link to my Pinterest board with links to individual images at Bilindex

2) Schonsperger, Ein new Modelbuch (1524) Link is to my Pinterest board with links to individual images at Bildindex

3) Quentel, Eyn new kunstlich Boich  (1527)

4) Vorsterman, Ce est vng tractat de la noble art de leguille (1527) The Met's copy. This is almost an exact crib of Quentel's Eyn new kunstlich Boich (#3)

5) Schonsperger, Ein ney Furmbuchlein  (1529) Link is to my Pinterest board with links to the individual images at Bildindex

6) Quentel, Eyn newe kunstlich Moetdelboech (1529)

7) Steyner, Model Biechlein (1533)

8) Egenolff, Modelbuch aller Art Nehewercks vnd Stickens (1533)

9) Swartzenberger, Ain new Formbuchlein (1534) Link is to my Pinterest board with links to individual pages at Bildindex of the Kunstbibliothek copy. This one is available as a reprint from Lacis titled Patterns Book of Embroidery:1534

10) Swartzenberger, Ain schons nutzlich newes Formbuchlin (1534)

11) Steyner, Ein new Modelbuch (1534)

12) Schwartzenberger, Ain schons nutzlich newes Formbuchlein (1535)

13) Egenolff, Modelbuch aller Art Nehens vu Stickens (1535) University of Arizona scan of the 1888 republication

14) Egenolff, Modelbuch von erhabener vnnd flacher Arbait

15) Egenolff. Modelbuch welscher, ober vfi niderlandischer Arbait

16) Quentel, Ein new kunstlich Modelbuch, dair yn meir dan sechhundert Figured (1541)

17) Quentel, Eyn new kunstlich Modelbuech, darynn vill schoner staelen begriffen (1544)

18) Hofer,Hans. Ain new Formbuech 'len der weyssen Arbeyt (1545)

19) Gulfferich, Herman Ein newkunstlich Modelbuch (1545)  #23.40(1-78) At the Met

20) Egenolff, Modelbuch aller Art Nehwens vnd Stickens (1564)

21) Egenolff, Modelbuch welscher, ober vnd niderlandischer Arbait (1555)

22) Hoffmann, New Modelbuch (1556)

23) R. M. Nuw Modelbuch, allerly Gattungen Dantelschnur (1561) Entirely bobbin lace patterns written by a woman. REpublished in 1986 as "Fascinating Bobbin Lace" by Claire Burkhard with prickings for the patterns.

24) HAN und RAB, Modelbuch neuw aller Art Nehens vu Stickens (1562)

25) Bassee, New Modelbuch (1568)

26          Modelbuch vonn mancherley schonen kunstlichen Modeln (1570)

27 Jobin, Neu kunstlichs Modelbuch (1579)

28 Vecellio, Corona delle nobili et virtuose donne (1592) The link is to the Smithsonian's copy of the 1891 publication of the 1691 edition

29 Straub, New Model Buch (1593)

30 Konig, New Modelbuch (1596)

31 Lux, Model Buchel (1596)

32 Sibmacher, Schon neues Modelbuch (1597) First link is to a scan at the Hathitrust. This is also available cleaned up in a pdf at Flowers of the Needle

33 Martin, Schon neues Modelbuch (1599)

34 Konig, Schon neues Modelbuch (1599)

35 Konig, Fewrnew Modelbuch (1599)

36 Guiaghi,Isabeau de.  Les nouveaux et singuliers pourtraicts mis en lumiere, de toutes facons d'ouvrages de lingerie et tapestries (1600)

37 Bassee. New vnd vollkomlich Modelbuch (1599)

38 Sibmacher. Newes Modelbuch in Kupffer gemacht (1601) Published by Dover as "Baroque Charted Designs for Needlework"

39 Becker. Schon newes Modelbuch (1601)

40 Beatus und Bitsch. Schon neies Modelbuch (1601)

41 Spiess. Modelbuch von 500, allerhend kunstlichen Modelyn/jetzund zum erstenmal in Drucj geben (1601)

42 Hoffmann. Newes vollkommenes Modelbuch von 400 (1604)

43 Latomus. Schon newes Modelbuch von 180 (1605)

44 Gross, New kunstlich Modelbuch (1606)

45 Latomus. Schon newes Modelbuch von 500 (1606)

46 Latomus Schon newes Modelbuch von 600 (1607)

47 Carolus. Newkunstlichs Modelbuch (1607)

48 Hoffmann. Gantz new Modelbuch kunstlicher vnd lustiger Visirung (1607)

49 Hoffmann, Wilhelm. Modelbuch von vielen new erfundene Modeln zu nehen (1610)

50 Raidel. Folge: Stickmuster (1613)

51 Faber. Schon newes Model vnd Spitzenbuch (1617)

52 Meyer. Zierat Buch von allerhandt Hutschnur (1618)

53 Honervogt. Folge: Stickmuster (1619)

54 Honervogt, Folge: Stickmuster (1619) No, this isn't a typo. 53 and 54 have the same title and publisher

55 Bretschneider. New Modelbuch (1619)

56 Herman. Ein new kunstlich Modelbuch (1625)

57 Raidel. Newes seidenstickherisches Groteschgen- vnnd Blumen Buechlen (1626)

58 Kahr. New Modelbuch (1626)

59 Furst Modelbuch. Teil 1. (1660) These were scanned from a copy with all 4 together, so it is the same link repeated.

60 Furst. Modelbuch Teil 2. (1666) Includes the other 3 books of the series

61 Furst Model Buch. Teil 3. (1676) These are also available to purchase from Lacis as Alle Meine Blumen

62 Furst Model-Buch. Teil 4. (1676)

63 H.N.D.C. Winter- und Sommer- Gartlein (1691)

Italian and French

64 Tagliente. Essampio di recammi (1527)

65 Zoppino. Esemplario di lavori (1529)

66 Vavassore. Corona di racammi (1530)

67 Vavassore Esempalrio di lavori (1530)

68 Zoppino. Convivio delle belle donne (1531)

69 Celle. Ce livre est plaisant et utile (1531) Publisher's name become Sera in later French editions

70 Paganino. Raccolta de tutti i ritratti & disegni di richami (1532)

71 Paganino. Libro de rechami (1532)

72 Paganino. Burato (1532) Scan of the 1909 reprint

73 Paganino. Libro scelto de rechami p elquale se impara in diversi modi fordine e il modo de recamare (1532)

74 Zoppino. Gli universali di tutti e bei dissegni, raccami, e moderni lavori (1532)

75 Nourry. La fleur des patrons de lingerie (1532) Author's/publisher's name changes to Pierre de Saincte Lucie for some later editions.

76 Nourry. Livre nouveau diet patrons de lingerie (1532) Again, the publisher/author's name changes

77 Troveon. Patrons de diverses manieres (1533)

78 Belin. Sensuyvent les patrons de messire Antoine Belin

79 Zoppino. Gli universali de i belli recami (1537)

80 Pagano. Giardinetto nuovo di punto tagliati (1542) Scan of the Hoepli/Pearson Education facsimilie edition from 1921

81 Pagano. Ornamento de la belle et virtudiose done (1543)

82 Pagano. Il spechio di pensieri delle belle et virtudiose donne (1544)

83 Pelliciolo. Fontata de gli essampli (1545)

84 Pelliciolo. Fior de gli essempi (1545)

85 Pagano. Lhonesto essempio (1553) Here is the 19th century reprint. There are a few different images.

86 Pagano Specchio di virtu (1554)

87 Pagano La Gloria e l'honore de ponti tagliati et ponti in aere (1554)

88 Ruelle, Iehan. Patrons pour brodeure (1554)

89 Hieronimo da Cividal di Frioli. Treiomphe di lavori a fogliami (1555)

90 Bindoni. Il monte (1557)

91 Bindoni. Ricchezze (1557)

92 Bindoni. Ricchezze, libro secondo (1559)

93 Foresto. Splendore delle virtuose giovani (1557)

94 Foresto. Lucidario di recami (1557)

95 Sessa. Le pompe (1557)

96 Ostaus. La vera perfettione del disegno (1557) Elsa Ricci 1909 reprint

97 Foresto. Bellezze de recami (1558)

98 Pagano. Trionfo di virtu (1559)

99 Bindoni. Il monte, libro secondo

100 Sessa. Le pompe. Libro secondo (1560)

101 Sessa. I frutti (1564)

102 Franceschi. Regina de recami (1564)

103 Franceschi. Serena, opera nova di recami (1564)

104 Franceschi. Speranza (1564)

105 Franceschi. Fede, opera nova intitolata la fede dei recami (1564)

106  Le Maistre et Voulant. Recueil de plusiers pieces de pourtraitture (1565)

107 Corte. Coronna de la mostre (1566)

108 Valvassori, Giovanni Andrea. Ornamento delle belle et virtuose donne (1567) This is a scan of the Organia 1878 facsimile  reprint

109 Rigaud. Les tresor des patrons (1585)

110 Vinciolo. Les singuliers et nouveaux pourtraicts (1587) There are about 14 editions of this one published in Paris be Jean Le Clere. The Vinciolo books are all basically the same, there are just multiple editions by different publishers. At most they change the frontspiece.

111 Vinciolo. Les singuliers et nouveaux pourtaicts (1589) Three editions of this one published by Eleazaro Thomysi

112 Vinciolo Les singuliers er nouveaux pourtraicts (1592) Two editions of this one published by Leonard Odet

113 Vinciolo New Modelbuch (1592) Three editions by Bernhart Jobin

114 Vinciolo Les singuliers et nouveaux pourtraits (1599) Published by Ludwig Konig

115 Vinciolo Auberleben Modelbuch (1599) Published by Jacob Follet

116 Vecellio. Corona delle nobili et virtuose donne (1591) There are 17 editions of this.

117 Vecellio. Corona delle nobili et virtuose donne. Libro secondo (1591) 14 editions of this. Link is to the Met's copy containing all 4 volumes

118 Vecellio. Corona delle nobili et virtuose donne Libro terzo (1591) 12 editions of this

119 Vecellio Gioiello della corona per le nobili, e virtuose donne Libro quarto (1593) 12 editions of this one

120 Vecellio, Corona delle nobili et virtuose donne Libro quinto (1596)

121 Ciotti, Giovan Battista, Prima parte de'fiori (1591) Link to download the ebook

122 Pasini. Fiori di ricami (1591)

123 Florimi. Fiori di ricami (1591)

124 Passarotti. Libro di lavorieri (1591)

125. Passarotti Libro di lavorieri

126 Bazachi. Nova scielta de'piu belli lavori, et ricami (1592)

127 Florimi. Gioiello della corona (1594)

128 Vinciolo. Les secondes oeuvre et subtiles inventions de lingerie (1594)

129 Parasole. Specchio delle virtuose donne (1595)

130 Tozzi. Libro novissimo de recchami (1596) The embroidery patterns are used as frames for calligraphy

131 Franco Nuova inventione de diverse mostre (1596)

132 Parasole. Studio delle virtuose dame (1597)

133 Glen, Jean de. Du debvoir des filles (1597) Lace patterns in an instruction book for young ladies on morality. Link is to my Pinterest board of archived images from the Beinecke Library's exhibition "My Gracious Silence."

134 Glen, Jean de. Les singuliers et nouveaux pourtrait pour toutes sortes de lingerie (1597)

135 Parasole. Pretiosa gemma delle virtuose donne (1598)

136 Gargano Secondo libro della pretiosa gemma delle virtuose donne (1601) This is a continuation of # 135 but was not published under Parasole's name

137 Foillet Nouveaux pourtraicts de point coupe (1598) Was also published under the title New Modelbuch

138 Foillet Muster von Kloppelspitzen (1600)

139 Tozzi. Ghirlanda di sei vaghi fiori Primo libro (1604)

140 Mignerak. La pratique de l'aiguille industrieuse (1605)

141 Rizzardi. Giatdino nel quale si dimostra varij disegni per far ricami (1607)

142 Pasquardi. Raccolta di vaghi ricami (1607)

143 Parasole. Fiori d'ogni virtu (1610) later published as Teatro delle nobili et virtuose donne Here is the
second section.

144 Danieli. Fiore pretioso d'ogni virtu (1610)

145 Crivelari. Nova scielta di varii fiori di mostre da ago (1612)

146 Parasole. Gemma pretiosa delle virtuose donne (1615)

147 Vinciolo. Les excellente eschantillons, patrons et modelles (1623)

148 Danieli. Libro di diversi disegni (1630)

149 Danieli. Vari disegni di merletti (1639)

150 Danieli. Vari disegni di merletti (1641)

151 Danieli. Folge: Spitzenmuster (1641)

152 Fortunato. Le pompe di Minerva (1642)


153 Poyntz. New and singular patterns and workes of linnen (1591)

154 Barley. A booke of curious and strange inventions, called the first part of needleworkes (1596)

155 Shorleyker. A schole-house, for the needle (1624)

156 Boler. The needles excellency (1634) This is the date of the 10th edition (More usually attributed to Taylor.)

Lotz doesn't include a particular type of modelbook in his list. They are moresques/moorish ornament. As his is the major book on the subject of modelbooks, that may disqualify them, but I find them interesting. Usually designed for goldsmiths, the title pages do sometimes mention embroiderers.

Pellegrin, Francisque. La Fleur de la science de pourtraicture: patrons de broderie (1530) Link to download ebook of 1908 facsimile edition.

Geminus. Thomas.  Morysse a Damashin renewed and increase, very profitable for Goldsmythes and Embroiderars   (1548) PDF download at the University of Munster

Flotner, Peter. Kunstbuch (1549)

Cranach gown

So, as usual, I didn't make what I was going to make. But I did get something done, so there's an improvement. I got 2 hats, a caul, a dress, a shirt, a necklace, a pair of plunderhosen, and a leather vest made in time for Solstice. The vest did not get worn. The leather had a strange texture and didn't move well and was uncomfortable for my husband to wear.

This was my first attempt ever at German. It was definitely a learning experience. I will get some details on how I made things-- and the things that I made one way and need to change up (like the brustfleck and my husband's hat. . . ) but for now, here are pictures of their state of wearable on Dec 12th. I'm doing the mending and fixing of things so I can rewear mine with improvements for 12th Night.  The brustfleck needs a lot better shaping and more embroidery. I need to padstitch my collar for better shaping. I've got to tack down the edged of the silk guards. Something has got to be done about the lacing as well. But I have a serious love affair with my new hat and the color of the stamped velveteen is fantastic so something went well.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I have 18 days to make 2 outfits

Pracrastination and indecision have taken their toll again. While I have been making nice progress on the stuff that has no deadline, events where I need something to wear are pointing out that they are around the corner. I have nothing that fits. Neither does my husband.  We are going to Solstice on December 12th, which also happens to be our 12th anniversary. He hasn't gone to a court event in a few years and everything he owns is at least 7 years old, worn out and sized for a man whose metabolism hadn't become acquainted with his 30's. I haven't made myself anything new in at least 2 years and have had a gastric bypass. I'm 90 pounds lighter than I was this summer and very oddly shaped. Thus, I have 18 days to make 2 outfits from the skin out.

I've considered and discarded at least 4 concepts over the last few weeks. Since I haven't jumped at doing them, I'm moving on to something else. This portrait by Bernardino del Conti caught my eye when I was searching for what to do for IRCC 5. It is kind of quirky, has high contrast color, and drips with tassels. Thus it screams my name.  I purchased 25 yards of tasseled trim in a pinky red and gold at Home Fabrics for a ridiculously good deal last spring and got some gold silk taffeta from Golden Silks when she had her taffeta and dupionis for under $5 a yard last summer. I'm reminding myself of that fact so I hopefully won't worry too much about using them and/or having any sewing accidents due to the limited time frame.

It is a pretty early dress, so I draped a short bodice. It is hard to tell how long the bodice is in the portrait, but the time period tends to demand the shorter ones. Likewise the trinzale (hair cap/scarf deelie) points to this being Milanese. I'm using this engraving of a Milanese lady to inform the patterning. There is also an amazing terracotta portrait bust by Gian Cristoforo Romano held in the Kimbell Museum in Texas that is playing a part in this.
The early look seems like it will be a lot of fun. And hopefully at least a little less fussy to make than the later heavily structured dresses. The only major stumbling block is that my husband really would prefer to wear a later men's look, so we won't be matching. Not the end of the world there either. I think I'm just going to make him something non-specific. I previously made him a doublet and Venetians using the Margo Anderson pattern (hey look, proof that his clothes are really only 4 years old, not 7.) I think knocking out another version in better materials (so I don't have the really awful gaping and cheesy gold trim) should have him looking dapper. I have a lovely red wool that should be a close enough coordinate to my dress. Red is his favorite color as well, so we can be slightly Christmassy in our choice of fabrics.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Marzipan Griffin

I'm currently in the midst of feast prep and thus continuing to be a bad blogger. So, I figured I'd let you see some of last year's feast.  I didn't get any pictures last year, but Mistress Birgit Birka snapped this one as I was starting to arrange my dessert subtlety.

I added some more "gold" to the nest before it was served, and the ramikin supporting the wings got removed as well as more mint being added, but you get the general idea.

The griffin itself is made from a honey marzipan. As it was mostly being used for sculpting and not much eating was going to happen, I used bulk almond flour rather than grinding my own. The colors were added with Wilton cake decoration dyes. The bluish things to the left are supposed to be roses. They didn't look too bad in person, but I was unhappy with the color. The queen on the throne at the time was anti-red roses. White wasn't working and the griffin was already yellow, so I tried for a pale blue hoping to have it look like a shadowed white and it just didn't work. The beak did look a great deal less ducklike and more eagleish from the side as well.

The gold (as griffins guard their nests of gold according to myth,) was candied lemons I'd made (very tasty,) purchased dates, shortbread cookies stamped with the Provincial device, candied chestnuts (soooo yummy,) and lemon curd tarts (you can just glimpse a couple of them under the mint up top.)

While I was running around like a madwoman getting feast done there was a shortage of A&S entries. Since I had documented several of the recipes for the comfits and crazy marzipan sculpting is totally period, this got entered at the last minute with a combination of verbal documentation and what I had written out for the recipes, and I won Provincial A&S Champion. My oldest daughter also did a little competing of her own and became the Province of Arrows Flight's bard.

Just to add to the crazy of the day, here's me getting my Golden Pillar (Artemisian AoA level service award.) I'm exhausted just thinking about it, and I'm just over a week out from doing another feast. Now, I better get back to making bread and prepping desserts. The weather is perfect for baking.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A couple of pearled cloaks

I'm behind on projects that don't include my kids and Halloween, so I'm throwing another past project up. These are the cloaks that were originally made to go over the white outfits I posted last. Totally a case study for why picking the fabrics and design for an event 6 months before hand can be tricky. I was cold and wet and shivering in winter when I decided fully lined tunics and wool cloaks would be a great idea for wear in late June. It made for outfits that are fabulous, but weren't able to be worn as intended.

These are half circle cloaks with machine embroidery, hand applique, stenciled griffins, couched cord, beads, wooden bead frames, and a couple of hundred strands of freshwater pearls.  The motto of "Tridentata Gloriam" comes from our Kingdom song and is a reference to Artemisia being named for Artemisia Tridentata-- common sagebrush. I embroidered the letters on felt using my embroidery machine and then appliqued them in place. The griffins are done with a stencil from Wall Masque Stencil Co on Etsy. I had purchased it awhile back just because it was two griffins segreant (rampant, but with added wings) and I liked it. I just happened to be perfect for the project. I had considered block printing it. I sort of wish I had, just because it would have been a lot quicker than doing the highly detailed stencil, but it sure turned out nice this way. The wool is a heavy boucle and just gulped the paint. I used Versatex again, and went through three 4 oz jars on the two cloaks.

There are about 75-ish strands of 7-9mm potato shaped freshwater pearls on each cloak that are couched in place and then I took a gold colored soutache cord and couched it to the side of the pearls to help them pop a bit as well as to help straighten up the lines a bit. Using the real pearls sacrificed uniformity.  Between each Tridentata Gloriam on the curve, there is a wooden quatrafoil bead frame with large beads in them, to break up the text. Each cloak is lined in a black and gold ecclesiastical brocade as I knew they would be draped over the back of thrones and seen from the front as often as the back.

Obviously, not a difficult thing to sew as it is just a half circle. Just a lot of sewing and embellishment.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Appliqued griffins for Ronan and Clare

 I'm working on a tutorial for making a padded table for block printing, so in the meantime I figured I'd go back and fill in the gaps for what I did while I wasn't posting.

I spent about 6 months acting as Mistress of the Wardrobe for Mistress Clare de Lacey and Sir Ronan Geirson ta Rautalahti while they acted as Queen and King of Artemisia. In the process I made 8 outfits and a couple of cloaks.

This set here is the outfits I made for them in June to wear to Avacal's first Coronation. Because there were unusually warm temperatures in Avacal, these were first worn in September when Their Graces stepped down.

The base clothing is simple, so I went to town with the decoration. The basic tunic and cote are white linen lined in more white linen. I fulled the black wool leftover from cloaks I made to be worn over these and cut the applique from it.

It is hard to see in the pictures I have, but the appliques are layered, with each limb and the wings and feathers separate.  I then stitched them into place with a gold metallic similar to crochet thread.
They are blanket stitched to approximate the look of gold cord couched in place as would have been done for period applique. Both are trimmed with a black silk inkle trim I had made in Morocco. The beaks and other details were done with needlefelting. That technique is totally not historically accurate, but I didn't feel like I had time to do embroidery and I had painted other outfits so I wanted a different look for these.

As you can see from the hanging photo, the griffins are intended to face one another when Their Graces stand in front of the thrones facing the populace as a nod to the heraldry of our kingdom.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Spot printing and embroidering over it.

When I started this outfit in the past, I decided to do a plain camicia with embroidered neck and cuffs. I embroidered them with a pattern of griffins and mermaids taken from Giovanni Ostaus' Perfection of Design. While I love the cuffs and collar (and they still haven't found their way on to a camicia yet,) I think it is wrong for the outfit. The original plan was to have this be my Disney Challenge dress and to have the dress read as Ursula the SeaWitch. Therefore I was going to have the underdress be more purple and less pink. Since I'm going back to having it read like the portrait, the deep purple and green in the cuffs just seems a bit stronger and more noticeable than what I want to go with the pink painted on gold I'm now planning. Therefore, the new plan is to do a camicia with little spot motifs embroidered in gold.
As I'm currently playing with block printing, I think I will use the blocks to transfer the design and make certain it is consistent. This is an approach used in the 16th century. There are some examples of printed fabrics sold by printers for embroidering on. The two in the V&A show a variety of patterns. One is spot motifs that could be for embroidered slips or they could be used as is on a shift. The Vand A also has a smock with similar animals embroidered on it.  The other extant example is a coif that has been printed with flowers to shape with the printing visible. There is also a matching panel with the same design
that has been embroidered with black thread in a speckling stitch with added spangles.  

My plan is to use a small heartsease (pansy) stamp all over the linen for the camicia and then go back in with gold to match the spot motif in the portrait. It isn't quite the same pattern, but I like heartsease and they were a popular embroidered flower in the period (one of Elizabeth I's badges as well.)
I also happen to already own the cute little pansy stamp pictured first. I purchased it from Blockwallah on Etsy.
Using a supply already on hand wins in this case. Although I have to admit I am very temped by some of the cute animals in the extant panel. Or possibly a seeblatt.
I do have a small heart with some interior detailing and I may use that alternating with the pansy for the cuffs and collar. Or, possibly something more geometric. I'm going to have to do some tests to see what I like. I figure the spot printed camicia will make a nice project to work on at events, sort of like the little printed cross stitch kits I did as a kid that were my first exposure to embroidery.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Yup, this is still a good idea

I was going through pinned images I've been hoarding in anticipation of this build. Some of the best are from King Studios version. I don't agree with everything (they call it Isabella d'Este's dress) and I don't have all their resources, but seeing all the work they have into it is astounding. Right now the website is being finicky, so I'm posting a link to the cached version. King Studio  Also of interest is their documentation page. King Studio documentation

The thing that was most helpful to me was their drawing of the knotwork.  Nice even intertwined V's
Seeing it all out like that in an organized manner somehow makes it easier to contemplate couching the cord and cutting it out. It also helped me realize that my original thought (like 4 years ago) that I could cut strips and trim them and then weave them into the pattern just wasn't going to work. This is a faux strapwork, not an actual one.  Even better is looking at close-ups and seeing the scale of the knots. Two V's across the bodice isn't actually that bad. They are pretty large and cover space nicely. The only problem I am having is that I want to start the dress now and the size of the knot is going to need to be based on the size of the bodice. I am in a size flux after having a gastric bypass so I'm going to need to guess wildly what size I will be after I finish losing weight. I was thinking I wouldn't need to size the bodice for awhile because I could work on sleeves and the skirt.  Ah well, it won't be the end of the world if I miscalculate a little.

I ordered paint this morning for my silk. I know a lot of block printers in the SCA use regular acrylic or house paint, but I'm an ink snob and am deeply in love with Versatex screenprinting ink. It is more expensive than the other alternatives, but it is also lighter on the fabric and stays soft while still being a nice thick consistency that is a dream to paint with.  It holds up to washing and wear wonderfully. I shifted to it after having other whites flake off and ruin things and I wont go back to the inferior stuff. I ordered their pinks to see what colors are going to work on my gold silk. They don't have too many options in that color range, so I'm only cautiously hopeful. With the amount of fabric I need to cover I really hope to not have to custom mix color.

Yes, I just admitted to using totally non-period pigments. There was no mention of painting madder or anything. That's right. That is what I'm doing. Most people just buy fabric. I'm going to be okay with handpainting mine using modern chemicals. I have used carbon to make lampblack ink to print fabric with and that is going to be as far as I go. I don't want to try for a pink.

My gold cord is also going to be fake. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fantasia dei vinci

I know, long time no blog. Hopefully I'll go back and fill in some of the gaps, but right now I'm excited about the new project so I'm just going to charge on ahead.

Giulio Romano's portrait of Margherita Paleologo has been a fixation of mine for awhile now. I know lots of Italian persona's with equal obsession over some dress or other (often Eleonora de Toledo,) this one is mine. The style from the early 1530's isn't necessarily the most flattering one with the low chest, short bodice and giant sleeves that seem to be sliding off the shoulders, but there is just something about it. It demands attention and gives presence. And then there are is the crazy knotwork.

What the heck is going on with that? That was my first question. This dress doesn't look like anything else at first glance. I just had to know why there was a giant black net over the top of a perfectly sweet pink dress. The pink dress made sense. Pier Francesco di Jacobo Foschi painted another of my favorite 1530's dresses in pink with a black border. There is even a bit of some decorative knotwork in her girdle.

The crazy overdress on the Romano is very different. Even the fact that there IS an overdress is different. There had to be some reason for it. I found the reason in misidentifications of the portrait. Over and over again the Romano portrait is called a likeness of Isabella d'Este. As the sitter looked nothing like Isabella d'Este and Isabella d'Este was nowhere near the proper age for the sitter, there had to be a reason.

Turns out the reason is the pattern on the dress. The pattern is not something random, but instead is a heraldic divisa. That translates to device, but the original usage meant a little more so I'm using the original. Currently, the only use of divisa is for the interlaced ribbons attached to a bull in the ring identifying the breeder. The knotwork is something similar. It is a pattern created by Niccolo da Corregio at the behest of Isabella d'Este.

Isabella was a fashion trendsetter, and it is thanks to her that the balzo hat became a thing, but while she did popularize the knotwork pattern, it was still particularly hers. There's a letter from 1493 from her sister Beatrice asking for permission to use the pattern. While this portrait of Beatice by Ambrogio de Predis isn't specifically dated that year, I like to assume it is close, as the pattern finds its way on to the edges of her dress.
There must be a name to this thing if it is that special, right? Absolutely. It is called the fantasia dei vinci (I know, I'm bad at surprises and put it in the blog title. I wanted to be able to find this post in a search when my swiss cheese brain forgot stuff.) Surprisingly, the title has nothing to do with Leonardo. Vinci can be translated as win or conquer as well as being to bind or restrain. Additionally, it can refer to osiers (vinco,) a type of willow used for basketweaving. ( As the pattern was devised as sort of an imprese with punning part of the game, I'm sure all 3 meanings came into play.)

Now, as to why this very Isabella pattern finds its way onto someone that is not Isabella? The portrait was done of her daughter-in-law Margharita Paleologo on the occasion of her marriage to to Federico Gonzaga. Adding more to the symbols  are the phrases "vincolo d'amore" (bond of love) and "vincolo di sangue" (blood-tie.)  So, daughter-in-law dearest is all tied up in bonds of family and branded by her mother-in-law.

While I'm playing with how I'm going to adapt the design-- or just leave it as is, Ill leave you with a few examples of other people equally obsessed with this dress. I'm very much not the first to freak out about it and it turns up in art more than you'd think. The Pre-Raphaelites especially had a thing for it.

Vanity by Frank Cowper (1907) Royal Academy of Arts

Edward Burne-Jones Sidonis von Bork  1860

Venetian Ladies Listening to a Serenade, Frank Cowper

For further reading:

'From Mimesis to Fantasia: The Quattrocento Vocabulary of Creation, Inspiration and Genius in the Visual Arts' by Martin Kemp, Viator (Los Angeles,) VIII, 1977, pp 347-98

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Largess from Artemisia's 1/2 Dozen Derby

I'm packing up the first of the largess donated to Artemisia's Half Dozen Donation Derby held at 12th Night in Gryphon's Lair and I thought I'd take this opportunity to thank the artisan's once again on behalf of Their Majesties and brag a bit on our artisans.  This gift bag is being given to Her Majesty of the Outlands, along with 3 similar ones for several of Her Baronages that will be attending Candlemas.

The wool haversack contains a boozenberries made by Mistress Casamira Jawjalny, Hippocras powder ground by Dame Meraud de Belle Fleures, mustard by Mistress Casamira, a handsome map of Artemisia, a lovely bookmark made in bobbin lace by Mistress Rebecca of Chadderton as well as a blackwork bookmark made by her hand.  Lad Malatesta Simonetti donated exotic spices such as grains of paradise and long pepper in convenient travel tins, Mistress Aurora du Portugal mixed up a savory salt of lavender grown in her own garden. The handmade box was provided by someone in Barony of Thousand Eyes (but I do not have a name) and Angela Seuestere, also from 1000 Eyes sent some tasty looking jams in mango and chocolate plum.  Sir Robert de Spencer fashioned the throwing spear, and I included some extra bits of embroidery to fill out the bag.

The generosity of Artemisia is humbling to see.  This is only the smallest beginnings, as I have other bags being packed for Talon and Crescent War next month. Thank You all for making the Dream shine brightly.