My pattern has always combined current hand work with planning my next pieces. Stitching the Gods of Literacy and the Museum of Brazil will give me lots of planning time. Which is good, because I’m not sure what’s coming next.
I still have this Papyrus Tablet in the works. It needs some polishing, but it certainly fits into the series.
And there’s the Chinguetti Tablet, all ready to dye and sew…
Right now, they both feel repetitious. I’ve done similar pieces (Parchment and Timbuktu).
At the Armenian exhibit at the Met, I bought the book, and later spent many happy hours exploring all the bits I couldn’t properly take in on my visit. I really love the Armenian script. It would be such great fun to create a tablet of this beautiful, inventive lettering style!
But as I wrote last week, I’m considering which way to go with my art. Should I be making more tablets? I’ve been sewing on the big, printed Museum of Brazil Tablet. After doing my usual detailed lettering, I’m just sewing long black lines up the cloth. Just quilting it. In black and white:
And…..I’ve made a decision: I’m going to keep going on these big, printed pieces, in a series called Banners. I plan to sew the titles in the same carefully worked style, but only quilt outline stitches for the rest. Just a note - The black lines on the black cloth above are only the start. There will be a great many more. And the black really IS black, not grayish.
OK then. I have 2 pieces to continue sewing while I plan for my next banner. I can plan this one in color, with a lot of detail. What’ll it be?? Time to go hunting!
In the Armenian Art book I found a one-page mention of The Friday Book - a text explaining magic spells.
Well, I went right down THAT rabbit hole! Straight to my computer, Googling Friday Book, Armenian magic, etc. Took awhile…but there is a website https://dl.wdl.org/11302/service/11302.pdf that actually has every page in the book!! And I copied out quite a few:
There were a few pages with illustrations….
…but not enough to assemble a banner. How about widening the scope? Look for other medieval books of magic?
I found an ancient Egyptian book of spells, the Ancients Book of Magic and various herbals with cures. I considered a collection of ancient holy/magic books, pointing out the similarities between biblical miracles are magical cures. While looking for that, I found the Gamma Gospels, the oldest surviving copy of the bible, in Ethiopia.
OOooh: it would be such fun to sew up more of those great Ethiopian images!
As I scrolled through biblical images, I came upon the Malleus Maleficarum.
According to Wikipedia:
The Malleus Maleficarum, usually translated as the Hammer of Witches, is the best known and the most thorough treatise on witchcraft. It was written by the discredited Catholic clergyman Heinrich Kramer (under his Latinized name Henricus Institoris) and first published in the German city of Speyer in 1487.It endorses extermination of witches and for this purpose develops a detailed legal and theological theory. It was a bestseller, second only to the Bible in terms of sales for almost 200 years. The top theologians of the Inquisition at the Faculty of Cologne condemned the book as recommending unethical and illegal procedures, as well as being inconsistent with Catholic doctrines of demonology.
Well, we wouldn’t want to be inconsistent with our demonolgy, would we? This is a book had I read about before, and always wanted to explore further. A friend had made me aware of the persecution of witches in Europe (the Salem Witch Trials were at the tail end of that stupidity). Yes, let’s work on this.