Sunday, January 26, 2014

High Flying Eagle

My head is in the clouds about this new find - a patriotic eagle!

I have a bit of an unusual hobby: attempting to pair up extant mid-19th century artifacts with the period publications that supplied the pattern. It's even better when I can manage to purchase the item, like the nightgown I recently received.

The yoke of the nightgown is adorned with extravagant  braidwork in an eagle design - a very popular motif during wartime, the Civil War specifically.

Here's the pattern, as published by  W. F. Sherwood & Co. of Chicago Illinois, circa 1865, in a mmanufacturer's sample book of embroidery and beading patterns - Sherwood's Impression Powder and Perforated Patterns, For Printing all Kinds of Designs for Braiding, Embroidery and Beading.

The entire pamphlet is available at the Antique Pattern Library, a fabulous site with hundreds of publications from a large variety of eras - all for FREE - although donations are accepted and encouraged.

I found it interesting that the nightgown was in Canada; the seller was not able to provide any provenance for the garment having purchased it at a "jumble sale". It would be lovely to know if the nighty was created in the States and migrated to Canada or did the pamphlet itself do the traveling?

The maker did not use the suggested cuff pattern and used a different motif (not in the pamphlet) of what appears to be a dove taking a nosedive on the back yoke - possibly some type of political comment?

I've been  in progress on my own nightgown for quite some time now, using a Sherwood design, although not the eagle pattern - maybe some year I'll be able to share that with you!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

In a Natural Vein - January 2014 Art Bead Scene Submission

"In a Natural Vein" is my submission for the January Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. Here's the inspiration piece:

It's a textile design for cretonne (a heavy unglazed cotton, linen, or rayon fabric, colorfully printed and used for draperies and slipcovers), circa approximately 1928. It's by Lois Mailou Jones, in tempera on paper.

Loïs Mailou Jones wanted to be remembered as an artist, not an African-American or woman artist. Her life spanned almost all of the twentieth century—a time of unprecedented changes in American history—and she was an active participant in the development of African-American influence in the arts. She was a trailblazer, a respected college professor, an artist ambassador, and an international expert on culture who documented everything she saw and did as a painter in the Harlem Renaissance, as an illustrator for Carter Woodson, a colleague of Alain Locke and Langston Hughes, an educator and mentor, and a champion of black artists in Africa and the Caribbean.
I was fortunate to have a perfect focal piece in my stash for this month - a porcelain cabochon by Nancy Schindler of Round Rabbit. It not only had the veined leaf motif, it also had the black and grey of the predominant design of the inspiration piece; I surrounded it with a beaded bezel in black and chartreuse. I used veined grey and black jasper beads and black stone nuggets for the bulk of this asymmetric piece. But it needed a bit more color...

And of course, I to find some more chartreuse!

The enamel over copper clasp and bead are from BeadSwedeSupplies and proved to exactly the punch of color this piece needed.

Available for purchase here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Do You See Me?

Cause I see you!

This coyote was out on the ice on the north side or the Island and seemed to be playing a game of tag with us - running ahead until we caught up and then running ahead again. I invited it to come up our way - lots of rabbits available!