I have created this blog in an attempt to document my quest to create a piece of embroidery in dimensions and intent, similar to an altar cloth, and embroidered in a style known as Opus Anglicanum or English Work.
I am a member of a Historical Recreationist society known as the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism – website here). This is a global society whose members concentrate on individually developing their portrayal of their chosen period in history pre-1600. My own choice of era centres around the 1380s and my chosen activities (at the moment!) are Calligraphy/Illumination (Scribal Mouse Blog) and Embroidery.
Opus Anglicanum work was considered the premier style of embroidery over the period covering the 12th to the 15th centuries. It was in demand by all the aristocrats and princes of the church in Europe. While undoubtedly secular work was created in this style, the surviving examples are mainly ecclesiastical. The work was also often done in Convents and there are accounts of Princesses and other high-ranking women leading teams of nuns in the production of exquisite work. Gold-thread is often used and the predominant stitches are underside couching and split-stitch on a Linen fabric. It is characterised by the total coverage of the backing cloth to the extent where it is no longer visible.
I intend to emulate works done in that style by making a piece roughly the same size and shape as an altar cloth, but depicting the story of Albion, which is a creationist legend of the European group of the Society – the Kingdom of Drachenwald (Website here). I imagine that this work will take quite some time to do, so I have therefore given myself till the end of the decade (not as long as it sounds!) to finish this.
I know myself enough to know that I cannot work on this solidly and that I will be doing many other projects and taking breaks in order not to burn out. This is something I would really like to finish at some point.