Nightcap Analysis

So I've been sort of working on an analysis of nightcaps similar to the notes I posted on jackets after the Jacket Tour. Since the focus of the tour was on jackets, any nightcaps seen were bonus, but we saw lots of nightcaps. I've tried to include links whenever possible. You might also want to check out Karen's links:

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horror, elizabethan

Update to It's All About the Clothes

This is an update to my previous entry of the lecture notes on It's All About the Clothes by Jill Hall.

I finally went looking and found a link to the painting from 1630's that showed a servant in the background wearing an embroidered jacket. It's the Allegory of Marital Fidelity by Jan Miense Molenaer, oil painting in 1633. It's in the VFMA, and the serving girl is on the left, bending down behind the lute player washing a glass.


Embroidery Depicted in 16th and 17th Century British Portraits

Karen Hearn, Curator of 16th and 17th British Art, Tate Britain, London
Wrought With Flowers and Leaves: Embroidery Depicted in 16th and 17th Century British Portraits

George Gower’s painting of Lady Kytson, 1573: Marten bird in earring gives a clue to the sitter, as a marten is in her family arms
The lady painted with a black lattice pattern all over her gown creating fretts is also giving a clue to the sitter, as the arms include black fretts.
An Unknown Lady in a red petticoat c.1565-8 by Hans Eworth had the painted arms added 80 years later.
John Bettes painting currently has a brown background, but it was originally blue from blue smalt.
A pink petticoat was originally a much brighter red.
Elizabeth I, in her Phoenix portrait, shows a red glaze over her gray skirt and orange on the gilt embroidery.
Unknown Lady c. 1576 from a British School, was x-rayed and shows different hat styles painted in before the ultimate widow’s hood shown on the wearer.

Sometimes jewelry was sent around for accuracy, but the sitter was not present for the entirety of the painting. Embroidery and textiles may have been abstracted, and individual stitches are not depicted.
Blackwork appears in paintings as a symbol of feminine industry. A Dutch painting of The Holy Family shows an embroidery basket with lid holding linen, scissors, and cherries. The Allegory of Wise and Foolish Virgins c. 1570 also shows an embroidery basket with thread wrapped around cards and a shift in progress.

Painting of Elizabeth I in a skirt with images that could be either embroidered or painted. Stained silk was much more popular in the 18th century clothing, so it could be the artist’s rendering of an embroidered petticoat that makes it look painted instead of stitched.
Whereas the Ditchley Portrait of Elizabeth I c. 1592 done by Marcus Gheeraets II looks like stitching, and he was more faithful to embroidered textiles.
Captain Thomas Lee c. 1594 shows an embroidered linen shirt
Marcus Gheeraets II portrait of Frances, Lady Hertford c. 1611 shows F and S in gold on white silk for the lining of the mantel. She holds a pansy in her hand, wears a wreath of pansies in her hair, and pansies on her embroidered jacket. Black skirt with dagged hem, lace and tear drop shaped spangles- stitching is rendered closer to faithful.
Nicholas Hillard, who did Elizabeth I’s Phoenix portrait c. 1575 was originally trained as a goldsmith, so was known to render the jewelry and metallic thread stitching faithfully.
Lady Rivers, Mary Kytson, c. 1590 shows a richly embroidered outfit; grapes on sleeves, honeysuckle on gown, and a sheer apron.
Portrait of Lady Nottingham c. 1590’s used actual gold to render the gold oes.
Mrs. Clement Edmonds, c. 1605-10 embroidered petticoat just at the hem
Portrait of a Lady, Elizabeth Watson, Lady Pope with children, embroidered petticoat and jacket.

Approach paintings with a healthy dose of skepticism, areas might have been painted over, was the painter known for rendering textiles or made to look more realistic. One lady in a bulbous hat, was originally painted in a smaller more fashionable, but still tall hat, that was painted over to be bulbous.
Many paintings were originally from Cowdray Park, collection sold in July 2011.
Currently working on a book on pregnancy portraits of the era.
Has book on Marcus Gheeraerts II from a recent exhibition at Tate Britain.

Tudor and Early Stuart Portraiture and Dress, compiled by Karen Hearn 10/2011.

Janet Arnold, Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d, Leeds, 1988. Amazon
Jane Ashelford, Dress in the Age of Elizabeth I, London, 1988. Amazon
Christie’s auction catalogue for The Cowdray Sale, on 13, 14, 15 September 2011, lot 309, pp.198-201.
Katherine Coombs, The Portrait Miniature in England, V & A Publishing, London, 2nd edition, 2006. Amazon
Emilie E S Gordenker, Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) and the Representation of Dress in Seventeenth-Century Portraiture, Turnhout, 2001. Amazon
Maria Hayward, Dress at the Court of King Henry VIII, Leeds, 2007. Amazon
Karen Hearn (editor), Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630, Tate Gallery, exhibition catalogue, 1995. Amazon
Karen Hearn, Marcus Gheeraerts II: Elizabethan Artist, Tate Publishing, 2002. Amazon
Karen Hearn, ‘“Saved through childbearing”: a Godly Context for Elizabethan Pregnancy Portraits’, in Tara Hamling and Richard L. Williams, (editors), Art Re-formed, New Castle, 2007, pp. 65-70. Amazon
Ann Rosalind Jones and Peter Stallybrass, Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory, Cambridge, 2000. Amazon
Andrew Morrall and Melinda Watt (editors), English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1580-1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature,  New Haven and London, 2009. Amazon
Aileen Ribeiro, Fashion and Fiction: Dress in Art and Literature in Stuart England, New Haven and London, 2005. Amazon
Diana Scarisbrick, Tudor and Jacobean Jewellery, Tate Publishing, London, 1995. Amazon

Up Close and Personal in the Winterthur Textile Conservation department

Joy Gardiner, Conservator at Winterthur
Up Close and Personal- in the Textile Conservation department
Notes from the workshop:

-Keep backings and such together. Acidity in wood eventually goes away, so keep frames, textiles and documents together depending on age.
-Sampler being worked on was glued to backing using a hide glue, and needed to be removed. There was too much degradation in the black silk for an immersive cleaning. Since the hide glue and the silk floss are both proteins, any chemicals used would need to target just the glue. A solution was chosen, but was staining the sampler, so ultimately decided to mechanically remove the sampler from the backing using a scalpel and a microscope.
-Carefully consider what conservation is needed for any new acquisitions and gifts.
-Late 18th/early 19th century purse of green velvet with metallic embroidery.
-Consider if conservation procedure is reversible or not. Vacuuming and wet cleaning aren’t reversible procedures.
-Cotton reticules on display were wet cleaned to remove yellowing, but sometimes makes stains starker. The silk drawstring in one reticule proved problematic as the cleaner normally used for cotton is more readily absorbed and doesn’t rinse easily from silk.
-Baby cap had some splitting in the fabric, so a wet cleaning wasn’t an option.
-Humidification can create ‘tide lines’ but pushing dirt or sediment to the edge of the treated area. But humidification can be helpful in reducing creasing in fabrics.
-Sulphanated indigo, producing a blue green color, runs easily so is hard to clean.
-Bleached linen can work, and is often a default for mounting conserved textiles, but since many fabrics are dingier the stark white mounting can make it look worse.
-When vacuuming, use a tool with adjustable suction. Use a soft brush to loosen dirt. Cosmetic sponges capture greasy dirt when gently rolled on a piece.
-If an item is nailed in place, check on the nail chronology to see if they are contemporary to the piece and also worth preserving or not.
-Don’t use hydrofluoric acid. Chelating agents need to not disturb the dyes. Reducing agents may undo indigo dyeing process turning blue to a cream/yellow.
-A current project involves a coat of arms textile. The textile was x-rayed and determined that a visible ‘gol’ in white on a black ground was actually painted on in lead oxide. Gold and blue showed up in the x-ray determining which colors went where in creation.
-If stitching on an item, use a #12 or beading needle, and go between the existing threads to prevent new holes. Sometimes a curved needle can be used if the item needs to be kept flat during stitching work.
-For conservation netting, a special bobbin nylon netting, or silk netting can be used. Look like a fine tulle, but not rough in texture.
-Insect pins are nice and finer for mounting.
-For the white silk apron on display, the weight of the metallic embroidery was pulling on the denigrated ground fabric. Initial exhibition design had the apron displayed vertically on the wall, but it had to be mounted on a slant to keep from pulling further. A netting was also used to pin it and hold the apron in place.
-One wool quilt received was determined to have once been treated with arsenic to prevent pests, so it is now a hazard to handle.
-A beautiful roll of silk striped fabric, was unrolled a bit and revealed the original vibrant colors of bright pink.
-Vivak plastic, a heat settable and easily manipulated material, is useful for making custom mounts for special items.
crazy, upside down, feet

Latke n00b

So this evening, being the first night of Hanukkah, I decided to try and make latkes for dinner. To the internets for a recipe, Luckily I had potatoes on hand, but they were an assortment of fingerlings including some blue and pink ones. And they were a bit of a pain to use on the grater, tore up my nails though they needed a trim anyway. Not having peanut oil on hand, I had to use vegetable oil. I also didn't add enough salt up front, but the shaker at the table was good enough.

Colorful messy prep

Prep was pretty messy, as was the frying process. But it was interesting and worked, and the results were pretty tasty. Since we didn't have sour cream or applesauce on hand, nor did I have the time to make applesauce in time for dinner, I heated up some Aidell's chicken and apple sausages and had some of Mom's apple butter to make it a dinner.

On the table

Yum! But probably won't be a regular dish.

Winterthur for Yuletide

Made a trip to Winterthur on Thursday, for a special behind the scenes tour of embroideries as well as a spin back through With Cunning Needle and a Yuletide tour. The house is very impressively decorated for the holidays, even displaying Christmas decorations and celebrations through the ages. Truly beautiful.

Alas we didn't get any pictures of the behind the scenes embroideries, nor took notes. Honestly we'd have needed twice as much time as we had if we did. But they have some lovely purses, a casket, some pin cushions, and panels. All are post period, but gorgeous!

But I did get some more pictures of the knife sheath and sweet bag:





Alas, the With Cunning Needle exhibit finishes January 8th. 2012. I'm not sure what will happen to the Plimoth Jacket after the exhibit is over. Ultimately the Boston Musuem of Fine Arts has agreed to store it, but it would be wonderful for it to travel and go on display elsewhere, or at least back in Winterthur's Textiles gallery.

Dear Artists,

If you want to feel good about a project, you should show it to your friends,
If you want some positive comments, you can put it on display at an event,
If you want to try winning a competition that you don't know the judges of, or the prize, you can enter a A&S competition,
If you want to get known for your art, you should teach classes and do active demonstrations if possible,
If you want good useful feedback on how to improve, you should reach out to someone in your field for a direct consult.

And lastly, if you receive comments you don't think are appropriate, then reach out to the runner of the competition to obtain the contact information of the judge(s) to communicate with them further. Maybe they were rushed, maybe they are not good at written communication, and maybe they didn't think about how it could be read as hurtful or inappropriate. Or reach out to someone you trust but see as a mentor to read over the comments in objectivity and possibly interpret them for you.
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horror, elizabethan

Foods and Feasts at Jamestown

Over Thanksgiving we went to Jamestown Settlement to volunteer for Foods and Feasts celebration. attack_laurel puts together an impressive spread for the Governor's table each year, so I helped a bit in keeping her company and giving her a break at times.

The fine table laid with silver.
Gov's table

The table boasts: (starting in the upper left hand corner) a slightly disturbing looking pease pudding, a roast duck stuffed with apples, a gammon of bacon (ham), smoked fish, parsnips and turnips roasted in duck fat, bread with cow's milk cheese, goat's milk cheese and sheep's milk butter, English walnuts, dried strawberries and crystallized ginger, Banbury tarts and a game pie.

And I tried to capture the rigging at sunset:

It was fun and exhausting.
braids, lost cause

A Lost Cause Christmas!

Our CDs for A Lost Cause Christmas have arrived!
A Lost Cause Christmas

Lost Cause stars attack_laurel, her Bob, lisettelaroux, kpyke and his Susan, Tara and myself.
We sold around 30 copies at Holiday Faire on Saturday, which made us very happy. Currently you can contact any group member, but mainly me, for a hard copy that includes our fun package, images, and lyrics for the last track. I'll work with you to get you a copy if you want. I'll have them at Unevent as well as Twelfth Night. I'll be mailing in physical copies of the CD to CD Baby tomorrow, so they will have them in stock soon.

But if you just want the music and don't care about the packaging, CD Baby has both A Lost Cause Christmas and Lookin' for an E available for digital download and previewing portions of the songs. The first seven tracks are traditional, but the 8th track is the Pirate Medley that we prepared for a December 2005 concert. Robert Mellin wrote the extremely clever lyrics and performs as the narrator.

Obviously we're very proud of it, and hope you will enjoy it as well.