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Millennium History embroidered in unique Maldon Tapestry

unique Maldon Tapestry

Millennium History embroidered in unique Maldon Tapestry

Millennium History embroidered in unique Maldon Tapestry
First of all, Maldon is a quiet town at the mouth of the River Blackwater 40 km north-east of London.
Noteworthy, in 991 BC, it became a stage of one of the bloodiest battles in the ancient English history.
Meanwhile, in 1991, the city began preparation for the celebration of its millennium. And created beautiful tapestry in memory of the Battle was the part of the preparation.
Every Thursday, for two and a half years in a bedroom located in the back of the built in XVII century farm house was working a small group of dedicated to one aim women. Bending over their work, they were laughing and talking, and their work was – the creation of embroidered panels. And now, in the beauty it competes with the amazing French Bayeux Tapestry, which noted the Norman invasion of England in 1066. Rarely mentioned on the pages of history books Maldon, thanks to the the tapestry became famous. Made by traditional methods by hand, it has an inherent kind of naivete, and despite the motives of the present, it seems that a folk tale unfolds in front of you.

Mrs. Lee Cache works with Humphrey Spender to turn his sketches into embroidery

Mrs. Lee Cache works with Humphrey Spender to turn his sketches into embroidery. Unique Maldon Tapestry

For the selection of colors and threads was responsible Mrs. Lee Cash, a specialist in the restoration of the church fabric. Spender originally planned to finish the tapestry for 1 year, but three years later, he was still developing sketches, and women were still embroidering. He invited craftswomen from the Women’s Institute and Crafts Association of Essex County. They did not even think to demand payment for their work. Rich colors and almost naive style is profoundly different from the traditional style of tapestry.

Some of the 80 local women (and even men, as it is seen)who volunteered in embroidered tapestry

Some of the 80 local women (and even men) who volunteered in embroidered tapestry

World of embroidery is a world of colors, distortion and unrealistic proportions. We begin our journey from the blood and heads, demolished during the famous battle. But soon we continue the pleasant way to the life of those people – both famous and unknown – who have made some contribution to the life of Maldon. Here, in particular, is the tomb of Horatio Gates (great-grandfather of George Washington). Also, Billy’s Abbey (Christina Foyle lives here, the owner of the largest book store in London, and perhaps in the world). In addition, a picture of John Plum (the founder of the high school here). All of them – closely connected with the local flora and fauna. Besides, with the symbols of the local industry. In particular, crystalline salt mined in Maldon and sold in luxury department store Fortnum and Mason in London.

Whatever ultimate the fate of Maldon Tapestry is, there is no doubt that its creation is an amazing achievement. This is a community project, which involved the talents and skills of the local population, and handicrafts. And at the head of all, it is Spender. Humphrey Spender – a photographer and an artist, a teacher at London’s Royal College of Art. He chose the colors and patterns, developed sketches, drew cartoons. Spender showed his innovation by applying a thin pieces of colored tulle. The material, used in the manufacture of packs for ballerinas, romantic and ever-changing background against which applications impose different images. And the local craftsmen assembled Spender’s sketches to continue work on the tapestry.

In fact, 80 people created the tapestry, and about 30 of them formed the core of the working group.

At some embroidery motifs there is a fat man, Edward Bright, who weighed 266 pounds and died in 1750 at age 29, and it took for embroiderers more than 200 hours. Tapestry consists of thousands of such motives.

Embroidered applique 13 meters long and 66 cm wide, consists of seven inserts. It starts with arrows of Danes in the battle of 991, and ends with the latest achievements in the industry.

The Maldon Embroidery celebrated 1000 years of Maldon’s history. Unveiled in 1991 to mark the 1000 year anniversary of the Battle Of Maldon.

Source – scanned images and information from magazine “Англия”, 1991

Millennium History embroidered in unique Maldon Tapestry