Above are two mirror frames I discovered at my local scrapbooking store which I plan to use for another 17th c. embroidered piece. During the period stumpwork was commonly being done, approximately 1650 to 1700, caskets and mirror frames were the most frequently used objects to be covered with this work.
The mirrors shown here have approximately a 4″ flat area which can be stitched to tell the story. On the top, which I call the Moorish style, measures nearly 20″ square with an inner opening of 11″ square. The frame below, which I call Scalloped style, measures 22-1/2″ high by 18-3/4″ wide with an inner opening of 13-1/2″ high by 10-1/2″ wide. There are several other styles at the store, but these are the ones that appealed to me. They cost $26.00 each and the store owner assures me she would be happy to mail them, but I didn’t inquire if she would ship outside the United States.
If you are interested in purchasing a similar item yourself, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can forward their contact information. I am not associated in any way with this company, just wanted to share this with interested stitchers.
I’ve been a member of the Casket of Curiosities class for a few months and have read three lessons so far which were very interesting and complete. There is a lot to read and many photos that were specially licensed for this project, so they are not items to be seen online anywhere. I am awaiting my first shipment of associated fabrics, trims, etc. so I can start stitching. I am very excited to start as I keep thinking about design motifs that I will do.
After making the commitment to join the Casket of Curiosities group, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to join about 40 people on Tricia Wilson Nguyen’s “East Coast Embroidered Casket Tour.” This is in association with Susan Albury’s Hanging by a Thread, our other hostess. We will have a behind-the-scenes tour of the stumpwork embroidered caskets and mirrors in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (I will refer to it as the Met) and then travel by bus to Boston, to do a similar tour at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). After that, we will have a class on how to put a casket together which should be fascinating. I believe the reason this was started was because the shipping of these wooden caskets became so expensive to mail overseas, they decided to make it into a learning experience and people are having extended vacations as well. I have notice folks coming from the Great Britain, Canada, Australia and of course, the U.S. Should be a fascinating group.
The tour was actually filled but someone cancelled out and I was able to sign up and am very excited. I am planning a shopping trip to the ribbon/fabric district in New York City near Broadway and 37th Street if there is available time. Of course, I’ve also found out there are reasons to stay at the Met to see some other exhibits. I wrote to someone at the Met the other day discovered that a wonderful collection from the Met’s Miniature Paintings will be on exhibit from the end of August to the end of December. How serendipitous! Then, someone mentioned a collection of Faberge objets d’art that is on display for about 2 years and I will have the opportunity to view these pieces. Serendipity again! And I cannot leave the Met without visiting the 17th c. Dutch genre paintings, and I will spend time with some of my old favorites. Realize that I am talking about my favorite things in the world! Needlework, miniature paintings, Dutch art and Faberge. I know I will be beyond myself with excitement. On the downside, I am sure we are not allowed to photograph anything, but believe most of it can be viewed online nowadays, thankfully. If I have time and energy enough, maybe I could fit a Broadway play into one of the evenings I will be in NYC. Now I will check out any special exhibits at the MFA that would be of interest to me.
I am a member of Pinterest.com and while I never thought I would be caught up in this, it seems I am practically addicted to it. I have 20 boards which include Historic Needlework, Period Costumes, George Stuart Figures (some would call dolls, but Mr. Stuart insists they are figures and not dolls. I can see why), and of course, I have a board on 17th embroideries, including stumpwork pieces. If you care to view them, I am listed under http://www.pinterest.com/cookiez123/, and you can look at all my boards. There are also boards on Botanical Illustration, Watercolors, Faberge and objets d’art, Dollshouses and Miniatures, and my own collection of Miniature Dolls Houses that I recently sold at auction.
Finally made the decision to sign up on Trisha Nguyen’s Casket class and am very excited about it. I am starting with Part I and have only read Lesson I so far. Tricia promises about 900 pages of materials, so I know what my reading is going to be for the next 18 months. Now that I’ve made this decision, I will not use the boxes described earlier in this blog as I wasn’t happy with them for this purpose anyway.
I already know the design I plan to use which came to me at 1 a.m. when I was trying to sleep. My mind was racing with the concept and at 4 a.m. finally gave in to the urge and went and typed my ideas before I lost them all. It will be based on Queen Elizabeth I and her courtiers and not the usual 17th c. monarchs, Charles I or Charles II. I may also work a stumpwork mirror later on and probably use either of these monarchs on the mirror surround.
This box measures 14 1/2″ wide by 10 3/4″ high by 9 1/4″ deep, more in keeping with the original 17th century caskets used. I will cover the painted designs with white fleece giving a nicer background for the satin fabric which will have the stumpwork designs. I hope I can remove the feet and hardware and find more suitable trimmings.Continue reading →