Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fian challenge

So finally, after a couple of mis-starts, I've presented my challenge in court and it was accepted and all that good stuff, so I can start nattering about it here.

White Wolf Fian, for those who don't keep up on esoteric A&S groups in Ealdormere,  (And why don't you, really? ;)) is a challenge order who aims to basically prod folks into pushing their own artistic / craftsman boundaries. Self directed, about a year long project that is one of those that's just outside your reach when you start, or so the theory goes. (Sometimes the evaluation of what's a suitable challenge for someone gets a touch intimidating to read. Yow, but I digress.)

I'm a lacemaker, even if my lace of choice is not pre-17th century. (Yes, I still call myself a lacemaker, even for my first lace love being the red headed stepchild of the lacemaking world. Suck it, traditionalists!) Since turning up at the SCA, I went and bobbled around with bobbin lace (enjoyable, still in the learning queue, likely now and forever), and wanted to poke around at the other main early lace, needle lace. Which is a big broad term that means many things to many people, but that's a whole different kettle of fish.

So I presented a challenge to look at two main needle lace techniques found commonly in Venice in the 16th century, Punto en Aria and Reticilla. The first has no fabric foundation, you build up from threads, and the second ostensibly starts with a linen base, but by the time you've done all the cutting away, you seriously just have threads and a lot of embroidery left.

The final aim for this, is to make myself a needle lace flag fan, inspired by this piece.

16th century flag fan in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts

I am so not making an exact replica of this fan. Not even in a year do I think that my skills will be up to /that/. I hope to make something inspired by this fan, which doesn't suck. Not sucking is a high priority here. :)

I've started a punta en aria bookmark tutorial, so you can see where I'm starting from in trying to get towards that. Behold, I have a long long way to go:

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