Mary Barber’s Six Winged Creature Drawing
There are many wonderful, and sometimes strange things written about in the Scriptures that are almost impossible for us a mere humans to imagine, let alone try to interpret in Ecclesiastical Embroidery. Two of those unusual things are the Seraphim and the Cherubim. Artisans of the past have grappled with these creatures, and provided some interesting interpretations. The powdering designs, dating from the glory days of Opus Anglicanum, give us some wonderful examples of these delightful interpretations of Seraphim and Cherubim.
Last week, I shared an article on a recent purchase of Mary Barber’s Some Drawings of Ancient Embroidery. The above photo is small, but it has several examples of six-winged creatures embroidered at the center of the cope back.
This photo from Pinterest shows an Ancient example that is in delicate condition. Despite that, he still is a charming thing!
The two figures on this vestment are slightly different from each other, but are similar to the drawings in Miss Barber’s book.
One more example also showed up on Pinterest:
The combination of the green orphrey on the red velvet is still stunning today. Once one starts looking for this design motif, it shows up frequently in Opus Anglicanum work. When Mary Barber’s book was published in the late 1800’s, it must have inspired artisan’s of the day to work give these designs a try. Several examples of the designs from Some Drawings of Ancient Embroidery can be found in book The Embroideries at Liverpool Cathdedral. The beauty of these designs is that they can serve as a wonderful training tool, and build new skills. Working with ancient embroideries can also be a wonderful source of design inspiration.
So, keep your eyes open and see when you might next spot these wonderful Six-winged creatures from Mary Barber’s book.
Solo Dei Gloria
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