Opus Anglicanum by Tanya Bentham
Opus Anglicanum, ‘English work’, was one of the high arts of the Middle Ages, treasured and traded by princes and bishops across Europe. This practical guide explains how just two seemingly simple stitches – split stitch and underside couching – can give extraordinarily complex and sophisticated results that exploit the qualities of silk and gold thread. It introduces new techniques through fourteen projects that progress in difficulty. The book advises on shading, adding detail and authentic use of colour; gives in-depth instruction on stitching faces, hair and hands, as well as wings, animals and landscaping and includes detailed reproductions of original pieces, as well as some with a contemporary twist. The book concentrates on the heyday of Opus Anglicanum, from the twelfth century to the fourteenth, when mastery of this art was at its height.