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Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery: The Art & Embroidery of Jan Messent Hardcover – July 1, 2010


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Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery: The Art & Embroidery of Jan Messent + Embroidered Portraits: Ideas, Inspiration and Techniques
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Product Details

  • Series: The Art & Embroidery of Jan Messent
  • Hardcover: 142 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844484092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844484096
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 0.6 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Touching on everything from textiles and clothing to accessories and stitching, it celebrates the rich history of embroidery in the UK."  —Craft Business



"A unique book that combines contemporary interpretations of ancient art and embroideries with historical narrative."  —Needle & Handicrafts


"This is definitely a must-have book for anyone passionate about embroidery and mixed media."  —East Kent Embroiderers' Guild Newsletter



"A celebration of the centuries-old traditions of English embroidery, Jan brings the ancient textile skills to life, and her exquisite mixed-media creations bring them up to date."  —Stitch Magazine



"Have you ever picked up one of those 'must have' books? This is one of them! Pages of a stunning pictorial feast make this a reference book to treasure."  —Fabrications



"Combines Jan's love of history, art and embroidery culminating in a remarkable book that is fascinating to read, to look at and to work from."  —New Stitches

About the Author

Jan Messent is a member of the Embroiderers' Guild and the author of several books, including Jan Messent’s Knit a Fantasy Story and Jan Messent’s Wool ‘n’ Magic.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jane in Milwaukee TOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 18, 2012
I have hundreds of books on needlework including encyclopedias and dictionaries of hand embroidery stitches, compendiums of specific techniques like goldwork, blackwork, white work, and books on historic embroidery. I have several dozen books on antique samplers, the embroidery of Tudor England and Mary Queen of Scots, the Bayeux Tapestry. Other books, like Mary Gostelow's, are on embroideries of the world. I have many pure history books which complement my study of needlework too. I'm trying to pare down my library but, like you, when a gorgeous book comes my way, I can't resist it.

I wish I had resisted this, though. It's just not what it's cracked up to be. Oh, it's beautifully conceived and artistic to be sure. But if you're going to slap the label of "Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon Embroidery" on a book it had better be about the historic embroidery of those cultures. This book doesn't even attempt to be authentic. It gives short shrift to the history and trivializes it in the process. Just turn to pages 138-141 and you can make your own little Domesday Book. See in Images above where I have placed some of the projects not pictured in the "Look Inside" portions. Why are there no photos of the extant embroidery fragments? Why are there no historic photos whatsoever? I've been in the textiles department of the Albert & Victoria Museum and there are many, many physical specimens you can see.

This book fails in 2 major ways: it aspires to be a project book with too sparse directions and a historic art treatise with no background material. I enjoy other of Jan Messent's books but this one is about as inaccessible as it is lovely, as Judith Baker Montano's books are.

Granted, when I saw this at a needlework store, I thought it was a newly published book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Glenn on July 26, 2010
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This book is a beautifully presented book and is a credit to all involved in its production. Jan Messant is a gifted embroiderer who has no trouble teaching the reader her ideas and techniques.....this is the third book of hers I have. The presentation of this book is enough to make the reader drool for hours and is a book one can refer to easily or one can study page after page. The colours and photos are stunning; the stitching is brilliant; the ideas are easily adapted and even if one isn't interested in history, it would make no difference as this book is as much a technique & ideas book as a story of history. This book will have pride of place on my bookshelf and I will refer to it often.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marie Prudence Gagne on January 4, 2012
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I must say first off that this is a gorgeous book and I'm happy to own it. However, it is important for researchers and historical reenactors - who may be drawn (as I was) to the book's "re-creations" of Celtic, Viking, and Anglo Saxon textile arts - to understand that the accurate label for Messent's work (and book content) is "re-imaginings." No book can be all things to all readers, however, and even those of us who were hoping for more artifact-based reproductions should be pleased with the "hard" information on known period stitches and textile craft. Provided the purchaser is aware that such information makes up around 10% of the book, while Messent's (admittedly superlative and beautiful) interpretive art makes up 90%, the book is a delightful addition to even the most academic library!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Penny on August 30, 2010
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This is an incredibly beautiful and inspiring book, not a how-to, but brimming with ideas. It illustrates what a consumate artist can do in creating books based using historical subjects.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nagagirl on July 25, 2010
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The above review well describes this unusual book. Jan Messent has
created a book worth hours of study. It's obvious we're watching
a master working. Also we see a departure, or an extension of expected colors,
patterns and cultural symbols. The artist has made her amazing
needle study exciting for the visual understanding by those of
us making contemporary needlework.

Somehow it reminds me of Judy Chicago's the Dinner Party book not in
subject matter, but in how it breaks down a huge needle project into smaller, understandable parts. I'm in awe of the scope of this project and how successful
the artist has been in documenting it. This beautiful book will be in my studio
close at hand for the time being.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Heckler on September 22, 2010
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This book is everything the the title suggests and more. The photographs are amazing. The text is informative.
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