WatkinsRachel_GothicArch_NPO_1st_BetsyRobb_BOS01

Best in Show (The Jean Taggert Award); The Betsy Robb Award; Popular Choice Award; First Place, Non-Professional Original

The idea of the interior of a cathedral was the inspiration for this embroidery. I have visited many cathedrals in Europe and each one is designed to draw your eyes upward to the heavens. In this embroidery design I have attempted to create the impression of entering one of these amazing buildings and looking upward towards the light streaming through the stained glass windows and across the arches and the ceiling.

I am fascinated by ancient Gargoyles, which are symbols left over from early religions and which were carved into Gothic buildings. My design includes three gargoyles hidden in crevices. I designed a butterfly as part of the arch structure; each wing of this insect is a different concept. The stained glass windows feature a Phoenix with tail feathers which become part of the columns and a rooster whose tail trails down out of the stained glass window. The scene behind the rooster is based on the outline of an old painting of Perugia in Italy. Instead of chandeliers above the nave, I have stitched a half shell and two entwined fish. I attempted to give the impression of carved pillars by decorating one with serpents, another with oak leaves and fruit, others with Japanese Braid stitches and tiny sequins to give dimension. The direction of the light entering the windows is created by a Japanese embroidery technique called Fussy Effect.

This embroidery was stitched primarily in silver and gray Japanese silk and metal threads. I wanted the embroidery to enhance the silk ground fabric which is a silver/gray with an almost pewter-like patina.