Tuesday 3 February 2015

SOLD Embroidery of the Greek Islands * £13 €25 $55 Including Shipping (New Zealand or Australia $65)

My fascination with Greek Island embroidery is all down to the special history of the region. The islands were stepping stones of the Venetian Empire and the route of trade from the East to the West, bringing fine silken brocades to the attention of rich nobles - and their wives and daughters. And for those less rich, then designs to be copied and simulated with simple threads on plain homespun by pattern darning or other stitches from a homely repertoire.
The islands were also inspiration to the North, since trade from the islands would have landed on Sicily when it was held as Norman fiefdoms.
The Greek Islands were also the route of trade with the former Byzantine Empire, and after the fall of Constantinople as the Ottoman Empire took the Greek Islands one by one, so the culture and embroidery of the islands melded with new ideas and techniques. Having spent a couple of years in my youth travelling the Greek Islands, and seeing up close the pockets of Venetian culture cohabiting with Ottoman design and Byzantine motifs, I developed a deep interest in the overlays of diversity and richness. I also really coveted a bed tent of my own!
Here it is interesting to see how a raised brocade has been emulated with simply darned running stitches made on the diagonal. 
This book is in pristine condition. It is a full sized paper back with 160 pages of detailed history and images.

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