CASKETS AND SNAILS

Spring floods here. A minor one in the basement, brought on by the inordinate amount of rain we’ve had in this area this month, and at work, with more deadlines rushing one upon the other. Which must be good for business, but is exhausting none the less.

Last post I promised two things. The first one is a dream project. Something I will probably never have the time or resources to accomplish (especially the time): my own embroidered casket. Not the kind you’re thinking of.

Back in the 1600s the crowning achievement of what passed for female education was the completion of a small box covered with embroidery. These were called cabinets or caskets, and often featured dimensional embroidery. They were about the size of a large tabletop jewelry box and were truly spectacular. The Peabody Essex museum in Salem has one one dated to 1655.. Here’s a particularly nice one in the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s collection. They’re highly sought after by collectors.

Via Needleprint, I stumbled across this:

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It’s a modern chest base, made by a woodworker specifically for creating cabinets. If you click on the link you’ll see that the individual panels are made to be removed. All that needs to be done is stitch up a piece of the correct dimension and lace it onto the panel, then refit the panel into the cabinet. Now all I need do is set aside two years, a pile of silks and metal threads, some excellent linen, and $800 for the box base (including shipping). Another item on my ever growing never-never list…

The second thing I promised was word of a snail invasion in the Antipodes. Again, not the kind you’re thinking of. Garden plantings are safe. But Friend-of-Friend Fred Curtis, resident in Australia happened upon my book and is doing all manner of happy things with my snails. Here’s a trial for a man’s necktie to be covered with snails. He also stitched a camera straps using TNCM patterns (shown in process), and has used another of its patterns on a baby bib. But back to the snails. Here’s another of his pieces, offering up early spring inspiration to those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

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(Photo reproduced with permission). I’m always tickled to see stuff worked up from patterns I’ve posted, both for knitting and embroidery. If you’d like to see them posted here in the Gallery, please feel free to send me an image or a link. Fred – thanks for the smile!


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One response

  1. Have you seen Annelle Ferguson’s miniature Casket?
    Here is an article about it in Tricia Nguyen’s blog:
    http://thistle-threads.com.mytempweb.com/blog/index.php/2009/08/miniature-casket-wonder/
    And here is Annelle’s blog:
    http://www.gmna.org.uk/ (there are some pictures, but you have to search for them)
    I have an overwhelming desire to make one – and a dollhouse to match!

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