Contemporary Hand Embroidery from Watts and Co. of London

If you think the art of hand embroidery is entirely lost to our time that is not in fact the case. Granted, it is ever more difficult to find such work as many of those who procure works of liturgical art today are either unwilling to wait or to pay for the hours of work that go into them. This is understandable from one perspective, but it also somewhat indicative of our modern mentality whereby we are so very often willing to trade quality for quantity, good taste for expediency, beauty for pragmatism. (As I have commented before, this not only limits our liturgical artists, it also limits the quality and creativity of the liturgical goods that ornament the sacred liturgy -- but I digress.)

Fortunately this is not always so and some patrons are indeed willing to put in the investment of time and money for the older liturgical arts. A recent example of this came by way of the workshops of Watts & Co of London who recently completed a piece of hand embroidery, based upon an antique model that was also produced by their workshop, depicting the Blessed Virgin with the Christ Child.

Let's take a look:

As you can see, some very nice colours in this new rendition and the sunburst design really completes the piece. A worthy ornament for the sacred liturgy.

If you are curious about the antique model upon which they based this new embroidery, here it is:

This latter example is, of course, particularly elegant, coming from a period of time when hand embroidery would have been far more common, but the new example is likewise very nice and demonstrates that these are not lost arts; only under-utilized one's.

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