At the time, I did quite a bit of research and found that the Book of Kells had been carried into battle, a monk carrying it, holding it high in a special box which had been made for it.
During the middle ages, boxes which held sacred artifacts, such as bits of the true cross, saint's bones, or sacred texts were kept in special boxes called reliquaries. I pictured some of on display at the Cloisters in New York on my blog,
When this challenge came up, I decided now was the time to give this concept of making a reliquary box to hold a fiber version of the Magnificat. How hard could it be? I was particularly interested as I wanted to make a fully three dimensional piece of work. (the first two pictures here are of enameled reliquaries of the type I was interested in.)
I have to say, that although my idea didn't work very well..I learned a lot. It did require me to do some thinking as to how to accomplish this and in some cases my way was the hard way.
I created this by taking a piece of Peltex, laying a piece of batting over the top of it and then a piece of fabric. Since I didn't have the gold I wanted, I just took a piece of fabric I had and didn't like and used that. I quilted the general shapes, then painted the whole thing with Jaquard metallic paints.
On the two side panels, I painted the images, sort of icons, directly on the sides of the box. I then quilted around the rough shapes so that they would look a little like enameled images. Within the circles I glued pendants and buttons with the shanks cut off to look like the embossed bits on the Monymusk reliquary.
The images of Mary are mine but I developed them from medieval examples. These were painted with Jaquard paints as well.
On the bottom edge, I used a piece of Tyvek which I had painted gold, stitched over, melted, then ironed it. I was trying to go for some of the wonderful work that Jan Beaney and others do which look like antiqued and distressed pieces. I love the richness and the texture. Only...it's as lot harder to do than they make it sound...I'm going to have to play with this more to get the look I intended. I thought that the stitching would help guide the melting...NOT.
This one, I goofed on. My hands are so numb from the chemo that I couldn't feel that I was painting on the paper side, NOT the fabric side. I discovered this when I soaked the piece in order to remove the paper and started to remove the image. Ooops...so I quickly dried it off, cut the image into an oval, quilted it and stitched it on.
I then used a very wide zigzag stitch to connect all my bits and pieces together. I'm not sure I'd do it this way again....in fact, I'm not sure I'd do this again. At least I tried it. The only other thing I was thinking about was rendering one of my niece's photos of Iona...only Iona is a Scottish Island, Not an Irish one. :(
Sorry guys...hopefully the next one will be done much more quickly than this one...believe me...I had NOOOOOOO idea.