HNW - Slips [longish]

Reid, Andrew (MED_GEN) reida at
Thu Jul 8 17:10:25 PDT 1999

Karen Larsdatter wrote:
"Funny you should mention slips! :)  We're starting an embroiderers' guild
here in Atlantia and a slips collection is one of our first group projects.
Here's our website if you want to read more about it:"

I just checked out the site, wow that sounds like quite some project - a
backdrop/curtain for behind SCA Court covered with slips embroidered by the
populace.  (BTW I love the Atlantia Arts & Sciences page, great links!)

I don't have any of my books with me here at work, and I have a memory like
a ...  oh you know... big grey thing... large ears... long trunk... oh
what's it called?!  I have seen a wonderful set of hangings which had 'true'
slips on them, flowers, other plants, birds, people etc, all done in tent
and/or cross stitch and carefully cut out, tacked onto a velvet background
and then a gold couching cord run around them to neaten the edges.  In the
book I saw this in they reported that there was surviving evidence that
everyone from the lady of the house to the stable boys were roped in to work
the slips.  I think they may even be in the Hardwick Hall collection but I'm
not sure.

I've also seen some lovely satin, long pillows for the bed which were done
in the 16th c., all covered with floral slips and insects.  My SCA device
(coat of arms) has a pomegranate on it, no guesses what motifs I'm working
as part of my first project...

Rowena wrote,
"There are some pretty good pictures in "the Needlework of Mary, Queen of
Scotts" as well as a summary which does talk about some of the cross-stitch
    "She did not embroider for the sake of the stitches.  The pieces that
remain are not smoothly finished meticulous embroidery.  They were drawn out
for her with the shapes outlined in black silk.   She filled in the colors
with cross or tent stitch, shading as necessary from the silks available,
enlivening the design with an occasional chain or braid stitch to emphasize
the lettering or to highlight the lozenge compartments of the cushions now
at Hardwick.   "   p121"

Thanks Rowena, I've seen this book and it's a good source.  I try real hard
to loosen up my style (I'm Virgo), I think we forget sometimes how loose and
free some of the period work is, which adds to its charm.  Sarah Randles
made this point about the Elizabethan embroidery books the other day, that
the 'regularity' of some of the work makes it look a bit modern.  I'm
drawing my slips in outline only, and then 'colouring' them freehand with
thread.  It takes a bit of getting used to when you've worked from a chart
or painted canvas, but so long as you give yourself the freedom to rip
things out and try again...

Linn Skinner wrote:
"The V&A had a nice little temporary exhibit last winter which gave a feel
of the complete picture.  They had correspondence (an invoice/receipt) from
the embroiderer and several of the slips concerned exhibited together..."

Thanks for the info, do you know if the V&A did a catalogue for this
exhibit?  If it was small scale, perhaps not.

Andrew Reid
(SCA - Bartolomeo Agazzari)
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