Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Renaissance Angel Ornaments

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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