All posts filed under: Bayeux

The Hands

These are some of  the hands I drew ready for applique yesterday.The hands are larger According to the status of the image. For instance the largest hand depicted in this illustration is the hand of King Edward as he received a contrite Harold who has just returned from France. Harold approaches his sovereign in an attitude of self abasement its unknown whether out of shame over what happened in Normandy or out of merely conventional deference is far from clear.  (LM) The depiction of Harold with hunched stance and open hands is very dramatic and leaves the viewer  under the impression he is of lower standing.

keeping it fresh.

Being able to continue with the momentum on the Bayeux is really important. 2 months ago I had prepared work  to finish when I returned home. I finished that yesterday and then began new drawings…The work I finished off was a little confusing to me because I had to keep referring to my drawings and photos of the original image.However, the drawings I did yesterday and the subsequent applique today flowed well.I still have the image imprinted in my mind…When I work on the applique and decide on colors  it stays in my mind, I find myself thinking about it during the day even when I’m not working on it…. Its just an easier place to be.

Problem solved.

Its been 2 months since I worked physically on my project. I had  a panel of the applique prepared, but its been really hot while I’ve been away and I imagine the  studio became hot and dry. I got out the prepared applique today and found that the glue was very dry and when I put it onto the background it slipped all over the place… not tacky as normal.Being tacky the fusible allows me to place all the pieces down and then I press it as a piece. I had a whole panel ready to put down and it was going to take a lot longer if I had to iron each piece down. The thought occurred to me to re-heat the glue…. voila, it worked…. the backing glue became tacky again and I was able to place it as usual.

The most amazing thing.

I’m a little uncomfortable about sharing this incident,  however, it is part of the story I’m working on right now so I figured I need to add it to my documentation. The past few days I’ve been creating the two  altars hiding reliquary that are symbolized on the Bayeux Tapestry. My son, Jamie, friend Carolyn and I were filming in the Cathedral some years ago, It is part of the documentary we hope to make. Situated below the main church the crypt is  quite dark, lit only by a few lights behind the supporting pillars.It was so dim that we had to stand for a short time to allow our eyes get used to the dark. We noticed a tall dark, swarthy man standing over the altar with his hands outstretchedplaced at the edges of the altar which is about 6 foot wide by four foot deep. It stands taller than bench height and is made of stone I think.We stood quietly trying not to pry and afraid to move in case we disturbed his …

The next panel.

…TOOK THE OATH TO DUKE WILLIAM – HERE DUKE HAROLD… This is the most detailed – facially – of the figures depicting William in the Tapestry: and his seated figure is majestic and over-sized, similar to the scenes where a seated king Edward bulks larger than other mortals around him. Note the pair of figures behind the duke’s throne: is the one holding his fingers up to the others lips to stop him from “spilling the beans?” The story that Harold was tricked into promising William support in his claim to the English throne was attested by Harold himself, according to later Norman accounts (even the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle – “C” – admits that “William from Normandy (was) king Edward’s kinsman,” thus implying that he had a recognized claim). What made it worse for him was the hidden relics under the draperies of the alters. Perhaps the English artisans alluded to this Norman sneakiness by hinting that the two observers behind William knew what was going on. By first becoming William’s vassal, Harold bound himself to …


I have 4 pairs of scissors. All the same.They are just wonderful for cutting small applique details.Originally I used the scissors shown below, but I ended up with callouses on my fingers.I can put a pair at each station as I work. One on the light box, one on the light box,one by the fabric. One on the table and one by the ironing pad.Indulgent it may be, but with a 30 foot studio, it saves a lot of thinking, walking and time.

Bayeux Castle

Its taken almost 3 days to complete this part of the panel.I’ve not colored it… I will do that when its appliqued… however, sometimes I fell the need to draw and add the color…. just because I want to see how it looks.The knight on the dark horse appears to be riding a gelding. Five or possibly six earlier examples of non-stallion mounts appear to be mares (almost exclusively ridden by Englishmen). Although stallions were preferred by the vast majority of milites, yet the poorer sort would settle upon any suitably trained mount that was affordable. The social stigma of riding a lesser beast is something they would have to put up with. And as is the nature of any skilled group, some knights would not excel at horsemanship and would find a more docile mount less of a burden. The choice of a gelding would then be deliberate. The lead horseman is obviously William because the hem on his mail is the same pattern. Superimposed on the motte of Bayeux castle are two back …

William and Harold – the sharing of war Ideas.

HAS GIVEN HAROLD ARMS – HERE WILLIAM HAS COME TO BAYEUX – WHERE HAROLD… The pennon on Harold’s spear proclaims him a knight. He had agreed to aid William in his rights in England. In William’s mind he was looking forward to the crown: Harold could not have believed such a thing, and probably felt that he could put William by merely becoming his vassal for certain holdings of his own there. This master-vassal relationship was viewed in France as unbreakable. But in England a thegn or housecarle was obligated to serve as a warrior because he was of the noble caste first. Whether or not he possessed even a single acre of land made no difference. If the king or his earl summoned the freemen to war he went. If he held land in his own right he could take his holding “where he would.” He could choose his own master, and later leave him and choose another. If he held his land from the king, church or an earl, he could renounce his …

Post Title.

It seems I’ve just got started back on my gem and I have to stop for a week because I’m away teaching.However, on a positive note, I’ve just completed another 12 feet. There were two castles in that 12 feet and I really enjoyed the process. Of course part of the process  is to learn more of the history behind the images.I follow the journey through my text books. My information says……….. Motte and bailey castles’ principal design feature was, of course, defense and to this end, its greatest attribute, height. It was the Vikings of northern Europe, during the latter part of the first millennium, who were amongst the earliest warriors to apply this edge to their castle building. They were able to erect towering castles not only upon high ground but also in places offering no such natural advantage.It could be said it was the Norman’s who finessed this art of castle building, the construction of such often regarded in terms of art. A castle …