Tag Archives: Venetian

Woodcuts

A few years ago, I took up woodcutting and block printing, but I don’t seem to have shared that here. I was inspired by Cesare Vecellio’s fashion woodcuts in Habiti Antichi et Moderni to make a personal token depicting Florentine fashion. Many artisans give out a token at A&S competitions and displays to encourage and reward work well done. Oftentimes, these are buttons, beads, cabochons or other small items. My favorites have the name attached so I can remember who inspired me to try harder.

My Laurel’s token is such a perfect representation of her and her art, that I wanted to come up with something that really related to mine. My mind kept coming back to the woodcuts and finally I mentioned it to my Laurel, who directed me to someone with experience in woodcutting.

My first token was based on Alessandro Allori’s Maria de Medici, approx 1555, located in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. (‘’m not going to discuss whether or not Maria or Isabella are the true sitter, or if this is from the master himself or his studio.) I began by tracing the painting, then cleaning it up and re-drawing parts to better define the woodcut. I added a border, traced the drawing onto the block and began cutting. A test print enabled me to see where additional cutting was required, and the final token was cut to size. I wrote a personal note on the back of the token.

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Maria de Medici

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Line Drawing

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Woodcut in Progress

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Test Print

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Token

These tokens were first presented at St. Elegius 2014, while the token below was first used for St. Elegius 2015.

The second token was based on Allori’s Bianca Capello de Medici, at the Dallas Museum of Art. The same process was used as the above token, however details of the print were first machine printed on the back, before the image was printed.

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Bianca Capello de Medici

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Line Drawing

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Tracing on Block

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Token

I also did a print this year for a friend’s elevation to Laurel. I traced & drew the image based on multiple photos in the same outfit. This was only my third carving and the first based on a photograph. I also tried coloring my first print, using watercolors applied thickly.

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Drawing

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Tracing

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Cutting in Process

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Final Print

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As Gifted!



A Fur-Lined Muff

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I have completed an embroidered and fur lined muff. My inspiration for a muff comes from Venice, Italy, 1590. Cesare Vecellio’s woodcuts include a Venetian noblewoman in winter dress holding a muff. “Clothing of the Renaissance World” by Jones and Rosenthal contains a translation of his description, indicating that the noblewomen wore a fur-lined muff to keep their hands warm. They were frequently made of black velvet or silk with marten or sable lining and closed with buttons of crystal or gold.

From the description and image above, we can discern that the Venetian muff was not sewn in a closed tube, but rather a flat envelope with button closure. This is how I chose to make my muff. I started with a piece of grey wool-like polyester, cut large enough to fit both of my hands comfortably inside. I stitched down the gold trim and embroidered my SCA badge. This is my first time doing free embroidery, so the tree is a satin stitch and the monogram is a back stitch.

After I completed the embroidery, I cut a layer of cotton batting to give the muff some fluff and then I cut my fur, a brown faux mink that is super soft and not at all like most faux furs. The fur was cut an inch and a half bigger than the wool. I then folded the edges of the fur over the wool layer and whipstitched it down. I then sewed the buttons on the front (embroidered) side of the envelope.

Lastly, I fingerloop braided some perle cotton and sewed the loop onto the opposite edge of the muff. Finished and warm!