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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1903: 'Monsters in the Margins': Embroidery Workshop

Friday 10 July 2020, 10.30-16.30

Organiser:Tanya Bentham, Threads of Time, Redcar

'What is the meaning of those ridiculous monsters, of that deformed beauty, that beautiful deformity, before the very eyes of the brethren when reading? What are disgusting monkeys there for, or satyrs, or ferocious lions, or monstrous centaurs, or spotted tigers, or fighting soldiers, or huntsmen sounding the bugle? You may see there one head with many bodies, or one body with numerous heads. Here is a quadruped with a serpent's tail; there is a fish with a beast's head; there a creature, in front a horse, behind a goat; another has horns at one end, and a horse's tail at the other.'

St Bernard of Clairvaux’s description of monstrous images in the cloisters of Cluny could also serve as a description of the strange images that lie in the margins of manuscripts such as the Luttrell Psalter. In these works, hybrid creatures gambol at the edges of the page, mingling with images of daily life.

Join Tanya Bentham for a workshop focusing on the bizarre world of medieval marginalia, brought to life using historical needlework techniques. Using the Lutrell Psalter as a springboard, participants will choose a marginal creature to recreate. A selection of designs will be provided, but participants may also design their own image.

All materials including naturally dyed wools and silks are included. Throughout the day, there will be several detailed demonstrations of different techniques and stitches, as well as individual tuition where needed.

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.

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

Tutor: Tanya Bentham
Fee: £32.50