Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Lancet Windows Based on St. Martin's Cross

(Above:  Lancet Window XXXVI based on St. Martin's Cross.  Framed:  31 1/4" x 11 1/4".  Polyester stretch velvets and previously painted Wonder Under/Bond-a-Web on recycled black acrylic felt with metallic foiling and melting.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

Margaret Blank is a talented fiber artist in Alberta, Canada.  She's followed by blog since "I don't know when" and we've corresponded about several fiber art interests over the years.  Recently, she suggested that I consider making a piece based on St. Martin's Cross.  It is a favorite of hers and her late husbands. 

(Above:  St. Martin's Cross.  A modern jewelry design based on the medieval cross on Iona, off the coast of Scotland.  This design reflects the original 8th century stone cross that is the only stone still in one piece.  There are others on the island, but broken ... now repaired.)

The name seemed familiar but I couldn't immediately place it.  I googled and then everything came flooding back to me.  Of course I remember!  How could I have forgotten!  My major in college was Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  I love these Celtic knots, the ancient histories, the illuminated manuscripts, and everything about the spread of Christianity to this beautiful, remote area.  I knew immediately that I wanted to try this motif.

(Above:  Iona Abbey.  Iona is a small island off the western coast of Scotland.)

Considering the great height and the narrow width, I knew I wanted to try a St. Martin's Cross as a Lancet Window.  These are appropriately "long and narrow".

(Above:  My pattern and the first level of polyester velvet shapes with previously painted Wonder Under ironed over the top.)

I drew my patten on a piece of paper.  The design is highly stylized because the intricate carving just doesn't work well with bulky polyester stretch velvets!

(Above:  Lancet Window XXXVI, under construction.)

More polyester velvet circles were added to reflect the basic placement of shapes on the St. Martin's cross.  After this, I added scraps of chiffon scarves.

(Above:  Free motion machine stitching.)

I use only 100% black cotton thread for the machine stitching?  Why?  Well the next step is poking holes in it with various sizes of soldering irons and finally subjecting it to the intense heat from an industrial heat gun.

(Above:  Lancet Window XXXVII, under construction.)

I liked the design so well that I immediately started a second one ... a variation on the same theme.

(Above on left:  Lancet Window XXXVII stitched and stapled to a stretcher bar ... ready to be melted. On right:  Lancet Window XXXVI stitched to mat board and beside its frame.  By the way, a large "In Box" piece is hanging on my gallery wall to the far right!)

(Above:  Lancet Window XXXVII, based on St. Martin's Cross.  Framed:  31 1/4" x 11 1/4".)

This is the second one.  It is now in its frame too.  A client came by today shortly after these were in their frames and said she's coming back on Saturday with her husband ... to purchase one or the other!  Thank you, Margaret, for a great suggestion!

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art work.


Margaret said...

They're both so very beautiful, Susan! Thank you for making them. I've been to Iona and seen the cross there...your renditions and the photos bring a flood of memories.

Heather Pregger said...

Your work is always amazing! These are beautiful.