I love how angels were depicted in Renaissance art and have quite a collection of reproductions where they appear. At that time, angels were viewed as being second in the universal hierarchy - behind God and above humans, animals, flora, and matter (in that order). Some angels were seen as intermediaries between God and man - I think it's mainly this type of angel in the art I have. The Renaissance artists captured their other worldliness along with the deep compassion and concern in their expressions.
In working out how to use some of these images in ornaments, I first tried printing them onto ink jet fabric - the images looked good, but something was missing. So I printed the images on transfer paper and ironed them onto wool felt. Much better! The felt gave some depth and also softened the edges - and the transfer cracked here and there giving the image an old look.
To make your own, use a search engine such as Google Images and pick the image with the highest resolution. Copy the image into a Word document or PowerPoint presentation (I like to use this to manipulate images) and scale it to the size you want. When you get a pageful, print them onto iron-on transfer paper. Check and see if your printer has an option for iron-on transfers - this will print the images out in a higher quality. Sometimes it also reverses the images.
Iron the images onto pieces of wool felt that are a little larger. Trim the way you want - on one I trimmed to the edges of the angel and on one I used the whole artwork. Cut another piece of wool felt and use a blanket stitch and size 12 perle cotton to attach the image to it.
Cut a short piece of ribbon and insert it into the top of the ornament between the image and the backing - just continue attaching the ornament right over the ribbon to secure it. Trim around the image, leaving a small frame. This angel is from Fra Angelico's Annuniciation, circa 1441 CE.
And this piece is Melozzo da Forli's Angel With a Lute, circa 1480 (part of a fresco in Vatican City).
For now, they're hanging in my tree ... when I have quite a few more finished I have other plans on how to display them! Stay tuned next Christmas!
Happy Creating! Deborah
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