INSTRUCTOR: Annelle Ferguson, Fellow
PROJECT: 18th Century Floral Needlepoint Panel
Most properly taught colonial women devoted many hours creating decorative textiles for their home, items that were useful as well as beautiful. For practical reasons, panels for polescreens were favorite canvasworked articles. A lovely addition to any room, polescreens were used to shield people's faces from the direct heat of the fire.
Subject matter for 17th and 18th Century pole/ firescreen panels varied. Large bouquets of naturalistic flowers, tied with ribbons or overflowing from a cornucopia, were popular designs. Single urns, vases or baskets were shown filled with blooms. Other choices were pastoral or pictorial scenes surrounded by borders of flowers and foliage in bright colors. Referring to pictures of antique floral panels for inspiration, students will create a pattern on graph paper and needlepoint the design on #58 silk gauze, using silk threads. Class discussion will include the process followed for setting up the project, color selection, and suggestions/recommendations for creating 1/12" scale patterns from pictures of antique needlework. Partial charts will be available for those not wanting to design their own pattern.
TIME: 12 hours. Although the chart will be completed by the week’s end, students will be given all instructions and materials to finish the needlework at home.
POWER TOOLS: None
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate and advanced
MATERIALS FEE: $25. As an option, for an additional $150, the finished panel may be attached to a Queen Anne polescreen, created by Richard Hardy.