IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 1902: 'With silken thread': An Opus Anglicanum Embroidery Workshop

Friday 5 July 2019, 10.30-16.30

Organiser:Tanya Bentham, Threads of Time, Redcar
Abstract

The term ‘Opus Anglicanum’ (or English work) refers to the fine needlework produced in England in the later Middle Ages. This luxurious embroidery was often used for clothing, hangings, or other textiles, both secular and ecclesiastical, often using gold and silver threads on rich velvet or linen grounds. Opus Anglicanum was in great demand across the continent, particularly from the late 12th to mid-14th centuries. The recent exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London ‘Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of Medieval English Embroidery’ featured surviving examples of exquisite craftsmanship gathered from across Europe.

This workshop provides an exclusive opportunity for an in-depth look at the way the human form was interpreted in late medieval church textiles. The workshop will begin with a short introductory talk, discussing both technique and surviving examples, followed by a practical demonstration of the split stitch. Working with silk thread on linen, participants will then create either a male or a female face in the style of the Opus Anglicanum.

The workshop fee includes all materials.

Tanya Bentham has been a re-enactor for years, working the last 20 as a professional living historian. Her main focus has always been on textiles, especially embroidery, but also making detours into costume, natural dyeing, weaving, millinery, and silversmithing. She has delivered workshops for numerous museums, schools, and community organisations throughout Yorkshire.

This workshop can only accommodate a limited number of participants. Early booking is recommended. Lunch is not included.