Sunday, March 20, 2005

Gold, Gold, Gold 

Today is a Goldwork day. Off to the San Fernando Valley to meet with a group of SCA stitchers who seem very keen on learning the ins and outs of beginning goldwork. They hopefully will still love it after hours of couching and waxing and cutting and re-cutting purls.

Libby came in yesterday and we went to the Autry Museum of Western History. Not just a collection of singing cowboy memorabilia. The sidearm collection donated by the Colt Corporation is astounding by itself. I really had never stopped and looked at all of the chased decoration on the weapons before. They rival Renaissance armor for twiddles and swirls, and they even had an example by Tiffany.

The special exhibit just now is about El Norte and amongst other things they had two very contrasting sewing boxes/baskets. One was a very grand, very large box in exotic wood, tortoise shell and ivory with heaps of drawers and bobbins, etc. The other was a humble basket made for a special stitcher. Her name was woven into the lid. Carmelita must have loved music as well because a little row of musical notes was woven in as well - a tuneful border under her name.

They had two dressed devotional figures as well. One of the Virgins was traditionally dressed as usual in rich fabrics but surprisingly, her veil was made of small rounds of Teneriffe lace. You never know where interesting techniques are going to show up.

Textiles and embroidery are so much a part of life that any exhibit attempting to demonstrate a rounded look at the material culture of an age or social group inevitably includes embroidery, needlework tools, weaving, etc.

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