This project aims to explore the actual making process involved in creating something as small, intricate and beautiful as the maniple that was re-discovered along with a matching stole and a pair of ribbons, in the tomb of St Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral in the 19th century. Although the stole, maniple and ribbons were technically, stylistically and artistically analysed, and the detailed reports were published in the 1956 Battiscombe volume, some questions, particularly around its making, were not fully answered.
I’m particularly interested in questions around the networks needed to gather the materials together, working process including organisation and level of training/ skills sets, timings, materials and their working qualities, as well as the sensory and physical engagement of the embroiderer with the work.
In 2017 I applied to the Antiquary Society, London, Janet Arnold Fund for a grant to help me explore these questions. After much work (taking a year in total) sourcing the right materials, an important part of the project in itself, I am now embroidering a section of the maniple, which depicts the deacon Peter.
I intend to publish a full report of my findings once the practical part of the project is complete but in the meantime I upload updates with short progress reports on my Instagram account: alexandramakin2
Today I’ve uploaded two more sets of images and a short photo video charting my progress: https://www.instagram.com/p/B5D75QiHscA/?igshid=n8c834nkyzkg