To redeem the monotony of plain surfaces has always been the aim of all arts, including Needle Art that is the oldest expression of decorative intentions.
This is particularly the case in embroideries of the type of what is commonly known as Jacobean, where the ground fabric is extensively visible.
“Jacobean refers to the elegant, artful embroidery that originated within the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The style continued to be a prominent art form for the following 100 years, through the Stuart successors from King James I to Queen Anne. Though the term “Jacobean” was not used until many years after the death of King James, the name derives from his formal title, “Jacobus Britanniae Rex”. This is the king of the King James version of the Bible; this is the period od Shakespeare; it is also the time of the early migration of settlers from England to the American colonies. When the settlers came to New England, they brought some of their treasures with them. Designs were adapted to the new culture and the times, and Jacobean embroidery became known in America as “crewel work”. Exquisite needlework designs of rolling hillocks, sweeping branches, graceful leaves, swirling vines, and exotic flowers were embroidered on linen with soft, slackly twisted, two-ply worsted yarn of brilliant colors. Such items as bed coverlets, table covers, chair seats, cushions, swags, dresses became family heirlooms handed down from generation to generation.” (“Jacobean Rhapsodies”)
More information about Jacobean Embroidery you can find here
If you remember, in my previous post I mentioned Cookie Ziemba. Cookie doesn't need to be advertised, she is a well-known and established miniaturist who gives a lot of attention to the historic details of the period she is working on whatever it comes to the setting the period atmosphere or needlework. Cookie is a Needlework artist and, as I know, she is only one in the Miniature Needle Art world who is doing Jacobean embroidery. Recently she put together some of the Jacobean designs in kits for the fireplaces, cushions, etc... for all of us. You have to go to her website to check them up:
I also would recommend you to check out her oil painting in miniature:
I hope you enjoied this little tour to the history of Jacobean Embroidery.
Talking about Embroidery in Real size, I started today a new project - a little gift for my little daughter - Royal Treasure Box based on the kit designed by Irene Junkuhn. Here is how it looks now
Have a great weekend!