söndag 21 augusti 2016

Making stuff with pearls and beads

Just before I went to Visby for a few days at the Medieval week I made this  pearl garland.

It's made from glass beads, and cheap acrylic "pearls" that I bought when I was at NESAT on Lodz in Poland in 2002. After the conference the organizers took us to this huge warehouse filled with sewing notions. I bought 1000 acrylic pearls for c. 1 £
The base is a thick woven cotton ribbon, like the ones we used to use for belts back in the 80s.

My main inspiration for this pearl garland was a bunch of 15th paintings, where you see women either wearing or making this kind of garland from pearls and beads, usually red or red and white. Of course now I can't find my favourite example, which I had on a postcard that I had pinned on my wall for over a decade ;)

Here's a 16th century example by Lucas Cranach though.

And one from 1465, showing St. Clare

And a very detailed 15th century one, which was my main inspiration for the exact design, though I chose blue and white since those are the colours of Gotvik.

Anyway, one could ask what these 15th century examples has to do with the High Middle Ages, my currently preferred period. And the answer would be: Not much. 
But, most paintings from the High Middle Ages are a bit less clear in details, and we do know that they used beaded ribbons as decoration (R. W Lightbown: Medieval European Jewellery, 1992) also in the High Middle Ages, so I extrapolated and wore it like this.

With a half circle veil

Or a circle veil.

I don't think it's too far-fetched to think that the gold headwear with a pink veil draped over it in this image from the Grosse Heidelberger Liederhandschrift could be a stiff ribbon with beads on. Though obviously not blue and white :)

Friday night, while watching the Swedish team in women's Olympic soccer finals I made another garland. This one is more clearly inspired by a High Medieval image:

I've seen those garlands so many times, but I haven't noticed that they appear to be a ribbon with pearls or beads attached on top. As soon as I had noticed that I walked down town to get some green glass beads. Catchign a few pokémons on the way ;)

I used the metallic trim I got from Korps when I was in Visby. Then I sewed the beads/pearls on with unbelached line thread. The ties are cotton tape and I glued a silk ribbon to the back side of the metal ribbon to avoid a green forehead. And to secure the thread too, since it's hard to fasten thread properly in a ribon woven entirely from metal thread (wire around a thread core).

In my mind I looked fabulous with just the garland and no veil, but in reality I am definitely sticking to wearing a veil :)


2 kommentarer:

  1. They look lovely! And very period. I think they look even better worn with a veil, too. Thanks for sharing the photos.

  2. Thanks. Now I just need an event to wear them too.