Saturday, 5 April 2014

Masonic Banners.

Many of my Face Book followers may already know I have two sides to my embroidery work. as well as the butterflies, moths and insects a great deal of my working time is taken up with producing Masonic banners.
These banners are used by Freemasons in their ceremonies and can be up to 6ft tall. I have been making banners for 25 years and have a website devoted to them.
I started making them after being contacted at my degree show by a gentleman who asked me to recreate a Victorian banner in embroidery. The original banner was painted and had begun to disintegrate. So a new chapter began and over the years I must have made 100's of banners.
Like my Lepidoptera the banners are made in layers of pure silk, with applique and machine embroidery. They are then lined and backed in pure silk, many have fringing or cord trims to define the design.
Sometimes I am asked to design the banner from scratch, I will produce scaled artwork, this is then used to obtain permission from The Grand Lodge or Provincial office.
I love banners with plenty of detail and relish the challenge of new imagery. It is really rewarding to make these items as I feel they have an historic significance too. I have been very fortunate to be invited to several banner dedication services and they are very special indeed.

I also offer a conservation service for old banners, the preservation of these old textiles is very important to me.
 So as you can see quite a contrast to my bug work but the two worlds do collide occasionally. This last picture shows a beautiful heraldic style banner. The money for the banner was donated by the widow of a previous master of the lodge. I thought it fitting that she had a butterfly made in the same fabrics as the banner dedicated to her husband's memory.