Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Art of Medieval Stained Glass

Stained-glass might sound like an unusual model for our next art project, but as I have studied them, I have learned that they were masterpieces in their own right! I also found it fascinating, to see over time, how this particular form evolved to become quite a complex  piece of architecture (see 2 part video). These windows became an artistic tool used to tell stories to those who gazed upon them. You see most people in Medieval Europe were illiterate. The primary language of the church, at that time was Latin. So how did theses beautiful windows tell a story? We will discuss this question in art class! But for now, continue to read and watch the videos so that you have a basic understanding of what I call "an amazing art form".


"The north transept rose (10.5 m diameter, made c.1235), like much of the sculpture in the north porch beneath it, is dedicated to the Virgin.[26] The central oculus shows the Virgin and Child and is surrounded by 12 small petal-shaped windows, 4 with doves (the 'Four Gifts of the Spirit'), the rest with adoring angels carrying candlesticks. Beyond this is a ring of 12 diamond-shaped openings containing the Old Testament Kings of Judah, another ring of smaller lozenges containing the arms of France and Castille, and finally a ring of semicircles containing Old Testament Prophets holding scrolls. The presence of the arms of the French king (yellow fleurs-de-lis on a blue background) and of his mother, Blanche of Castile(yellow castles on a red background) are taken as a sign of royal patronage for this window. Beneath the rose itself are five tall lancet windows (7.5 m high) showing, in the centre, the Virgin as an infant held by her mother, St Anne – the same subject as the trumeau in the portal beneath it. Flanking this lancet are four more containing Old Testament figures. Each of these standing figures is shown symbolically triumphing over an enemy depicted in the base of the lancet beneath them – David over Saul, Aaron over Pharaoh, St Anne over Synagoga, etc."(Chartres Cathedral, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartres_Cathedral)

Can you see the flying buttresses? They are the external arms supporting
 the back rotunda and the sides of the chapel.

"With flying buttresses for external support , the clerestory windows became as tall as the main arcade of the first floor. This expansion transformed the upper story into a light show of supreme beauty. The chief glory of Chartres is its 26,000 sq. ft. of stained-glass windows. ' Flaming jewelry'  the critic John Ruskin called the windows-90 % original- because of their luminous blues and reds, which soften the cold stone of the interior." "(The Annotated Arch, Carol Strickland, Ph.D.,2001) Today it is one of the oldest examples of medieval craftsmanship in stained-glass dating back to 1225. 

The following are great videos 1&2  that talk about Rose window and Medieval architecture. 





The next two Nova videos talk about How the glass was made and how Cathedrals were made both are so fascinating! 

Nova video on How Stained Glass was made

Nova video on How Cathedrals were Made

All of these videos give you a great foundation and background on stained-glass windows in the Middles Ages. However in class we are also going to talk about the art of stained glass.  We will be talking about symbolism and symbolic color. You are going to love this project because this is a chance to tell your story using symbols and color.  I wonder if the class will be able to figure out your story? See you then, Ms. W

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

For Home Study of The Bayeux Tapestry Art Project



Some of you from HIS co-op were rearing to get busy on your Bayeux Tapestry Project, so  I wanted to get you started! I was super excited to find this video tutorial on how to do the ancient Bayeux Stitch. If you decide to work on your Bayeux Tapestry motif  from home to finish this project and earn two BONUS cards  then, bookmark this video, it will be helpful in reminding you of the steps. I will also list some tips and steps to help you succeed. First watch this video.

In this video she does the outlining stitch in the beginning and I have instructed it at the end. I feel that either way is acceptable and up to you. You have pictures on your stitching instruction sheet I gave you in class to show you the back stitch for outlining and the french knot for making dots and eyes. If unsure you can watch You Tube videos HERE and HERE

Tips for Stitching:
  • MOST IMPORTANT *** Get into the habit of always leaving your needle woven into the fabric of your work and then you will never loose it. 
  • As you get started make sure you have your preliminary design pattern and stitch instruction sheets in front of you for reference.
  • Have your threads organized, perhaps wind them around a piece of cardboard or embroidery thread bobbins to keep them neat for later use. You can go to the blog Wild Olive for a cute free printable template to make your own on card stock.
  • Stitch out one color at a time. 
  • Cut your length of thread into four lengths of 18 in.. Do this for each color you will use. This way you have a shorter length to manage in your work and it is much easier. It also doesn't get tangled as easily.
  • Do the detail stitching last. Eyes, dots, Latin words etc.
If you get stuck I am a phone call or email away! Happy Stitching- Mrs.W

Monday, December 29, 2014

Normans and Saxons...How Do We Know Who Won?

Anyone who is a student of history has heard of the Battle of Hastings. But if you are an art student, you may not know what I am talking about. But it is the art student who can truly appreciate something from that history that was left behind. We will be using it as our art model for this next project, it is called the Bayeux Tapestry. What is this you ask? Like all other posts on my blog, it is my personal opinion that it should be considered a great work of art to study during this time period. Like the Book of Kells, the Bayeux Tapestry, is just extraordinary!
In the Bayeux Museum, France
And here is why: everything use to create this amazing embroidery was handmade. Everything, the copper alloy needles used,  the flax grown and harvested, the linen woven into material, to the wool spun into thread, to the herbs harvested and then used to dye it, and the the wooden frames used to hold it as it was sewn. All of these things were made by hand. That fact alone is amazing in 1066 AD, but here is the part that will make you gasp in astonishment, yes, gasp I say!

This embroidery is 229 feet long and measures 19 in. wide.*Gasp!* It is made up of nine sections sewn together to make a long banner. The design is made up of a wide center band where the main story is told and then flanked by a boarder on either side with symbols, small pictures and decorative bars. There are also simple Latin references for the person who was a novice at reading Latin.

Close up of stitching
 There are 4 different stitches used throughout the tapestry and all the woolen colors have been dyed using only 3 natural plant dyes! However, there are 10 colors throughout the tapestry! Click on this link to learn more about this amazing fiber art piece.(Pierre Bouet and Francois Neveux , Internationa experst on the Bayerux tapestry,http://www.bayeuxmuseum.com/)

 Here is what it might have looked like as it was being made

This beautiful handmade tapestry tells the epic tale of a great battle between William the Conqueror of France and  Harold the Unfortunate of England.

Here is a History Clip to watch:


Here is a great website link on the Norman Conquest

Here is an animated version of the tapestry:



Here is a super fun interactive link where you can  make your own rendition of the Bayeux tapestry. Must print it off and bring it in for a bonus card! Just try it out and have fun. Mrs. W

**Important** Time to check your art box for your supplies and to make sure it is stocked with everything you need.  HERE is a master list for you to use. Please do this before next class time.For the next 3 weeks you will need your embroidery hoop, tapestry needle, and scissors.   

All photos are from Google and used for educational purposes



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Break Art Challenge

So who will be up for the challenge? 

This art challenge is worth 2 relic cards!   So if you are behind then you may want to consider this option for earning them and catching up.Use what you have at home. It is also super fun and a great way to do some art while on break.  I will bring in what I do to show you too. 

For this art challenge you can choose:

  • What medium or materials you will use. Use one, use many, use things that aren't in your art box!
  • Choose your subject: Holiday Family Tradition OR Winter Wonderland this can be your interpretation of these topics-use your imagination!

Here is the challenge: you must include all the following in your artwork.

  • Your substrate or what you make your artwork on, can be anything flat, measuring 81/2 x 11. Cardboard from a cereal box is great or other type of cardboard or sturdy card stock or even plain paper is fine too. 
  • Calligraphy can be borders or words
  • Metallic Gold or Silver-can be material, ribbon or trim, paint, glitter just a few ideas 
  • Something from a magazine
  • Paint
These will be due week 1 and week 2 we are back from break, to get your bonus cards. I am excited to see your imaginations and creativity at work.

 Have a wonderful holiday with your families and friends 
Big hot cocoa hugs to you, Mrs. Wombacher

Monday, December 1, 2014

Attention All Art Classes

Mrs. Wombacher with Vertigo

Hi Art Students, 
I am coming to you from my easy chair at home- crazy right!?? Well, I have had better days and I am sorry that I was unable to be with you all for our art lessons. But with technology I can come to you virtually, isn't that great!!! So pay attention because you all have something to do this week, to keep us all on track. This way, we won't miss a single thing! Hoooooray!

GeoArt and Maps: 


Okay kids get a globe or map and find the continent of Europe, now find Great Britain or the United Kingdom or England. Now look at the country south of Britain across the English Channel. Do you see it? 
Now printout this document and build it with your mom or dad. All you need are scissors and glue or tape. Do you know what this building is called? Can you be ready to tell me 2 facts about this country?  I am sure you will know which one it is. Also practice our country chant and motions in front of your mom too. You can bring your project week #6 so we can put a flag on top!

 HIS Medieval Art Class:
  • Download the worksheets from the HIS website on decorative elements. These are labeled boarder worksheets 1-4 under Art materials.
  • Look over and follow step-by- step, adding the next thing as you go. 
  • Please only use period colors-no bright pinks or neon orange etc. Stick to deep muted colors.
  • You may use colored pencils, crayons, or your watercolor crayons.
  •  Please decorate the title pages (the page the sticky tab is on or the page before your project, in your book of hours) for each section we have learned Roman and Uncial(Celtic) using the decorative boarder elements you have practiced from the worksheets.
  • You may use any combination of elements learned from the lesson worksheets. 
  • My hope is that you complete a border on one page and maybe corners or corner boxes connected a with decorative border on the second title page.
  •  When writing the title for the 2 sections we have learned, please use that hand or style of calligraphy lettering.  
  • Use your calligraphy pen, mark your guidelines with pencil. Get out your stroke instructions if you need a reminder!
  • Make sure to leave spaces and portions of elements uncolored so that we can illuminate them on the last week before break with gold paint!
  • If you are unsure how to do it in your book then do it on another piece of paper and we can cut it out and paste it in week #6. 
  • Come to class ready with a boarder to illuminate with gold.  We may even have a special guest hhhmmmm! So be prepared!
Immanuel Art Class:

We will be doing the same thing as above during class time, but Mrs. Essman may be there teaching you instead of me, if I am not better by then.  She will have all the worksheets for you.

Any questions I am an email away! Thanks for your patients I hope to be better soon! 
Mrs. Wombacher

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Uncial Hand Of Calligraphy



Have you ever heard of the Book of Kells? This is one of the oldest examples of a biblical manuscript in tact today.  It contains the four Gospels. It is written in Latin and was written by medieval monks around the 8th century. Some scholars say that it was most likely written in scriptorium of a monastery on the Isles of Iona, off the northwest coast of Scotland. It was moved to the village of Kells, in Ireland after a Viking raid to keep it safe around 680AD.  Later in the 11th c. it was stolen, where the cover was torn off and the remainder of the book was discarded in a ditch. Sadly, the cover has never been recovered. It is believed, that it was stolen for the gold, precious stones and gems that encrusted its cover.

St Colum Cille Monastery- founded 561 AD, Isles of Iona, Scotland


It contains 680 vellum pages! Vellum was painstakingly made from calfskin. Then those pages were stacked into folios, 340 of them, and then sewn together to create this extraordinary book. What is even more remarkable is that all but two of the pages contain illuminated artwork and intricately painted Celtic knot work, some of which, is so refined it can only be seen with a magnifying glass!

Details of Celtic Knot work
 There were 10 different colors of ink used. The inks were natural dyes made from plants, roots, bark, minerals, shells and other things found in nature, some of which had to come from other continents. Many of the pages are illuminated with gold. There are pages that feature what is referred to as "carpet"
pages because of their graphic layout.
Carpet page

 The book also includes portrait pages and partially decorated pages as well.

Portrait page laid out like a carpet page

Partially decorated page
 This is such a fine example of the artistry and craftsmanship of medieval Europe.  It is an inspiring model for us to use as we study for our next project!




Details of above corner


If that alone isn't enough to make it awesome, then maybe this will interest you. It is also a great example of Uncial calligraphy, the second hand of calligraphy that we will be working on.


 Today the book of Kells is on display in the old library,located at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. It is visited by 500,00 people each year.


Please come to class prepared with your calligraphy pen in your art box.  This will be an instructional day with some practice time to it.
(abouteducation.com, "The Book of Kells" Melissa Snell-Medieval History Expert)
(tcd.ie/Library/bookofkells/book-of-kells/, Book of Kells)
photos taken from Google for the purpose of education

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bonus Cards Activities

Courtesy of the Graphic Fairy

Hi Art Student! As promised, I am posting a couple opportunities to earn bonus cards if you are short on relic cards. I am hoping to give you lots of opportunities to do this year. There are  so many extra fun activities to try and we never have enough time in class to do it all, bummer!  But as I have told you before, what you put into art class, is what you will get out of art class. These are both optional activities.

One thing that would be fun to do on break week is to make some ink like the Monks did in the Middle Ages. They used whole walnuts, berries and other things found in nature.  There are lots of YouTube videos and recipes on the Internet,  but here is a link to a simple version HERE  This link has some nice photos as well. Try it and see what happens!

Google image for educational purposes

So to earn your bonus card make some ink and practice your Roman hand. You will need to use a dip pen or you can make your own by finding a stick the diameter of a pencil and sharpening it with a knife. Make a chisel point! Please be careful and have a parent help you if you are unsure! Bring your practice sheet to class.

Another way would be to answer the questions from the last post on the Roman hand on the back of your practice sheet that you worked on at home during break week. You can do the walnut ink at any time this year but the questions and Roman hand practice must be brought to class the week we are back to earn your bonus cards.