Tracing Time - Tracing Threads

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


This practice led output is a body of Jewellery comprising of: " 2 x neckpieces " 8 x brooches The primary materials used for testing were steel & vitreous enamel with supporting materials of oxidised silver & Korean textile braid. The focus of this research was to investigate 16th/17th century Elizabethan blackwork embroidery held in public museum archival collections such as: " V&A museum, London " National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh " The Burrell Collection, Glasgow " Bath Costume Museum " Bristol Museum The research aim was to shine a spotlight, thus illuminating this obscure genre of historical embroidery brought to England from Spain in the 16th century (by Catherine of Aragon) to a public audience of the 21st century, using jewellery as the method of communication. The title of this research output Tracing time -Tracing threads eludes to the fact that this particular type of embroidery self-destructs over time. The use of iron as a mordant to fix the black dye of the thread is naturally corrosive, so increasingly over time only a trace of the stitching is all that remains in the white linen fabric. Selecting the main materials to use and the methodology of making was intrinsic to creating the body of jewellery, namely contrasting the corrosive properties of mild steel fired with the permanent characteristic of vitreous enamel. This overarching output comprises of the following elements: " A paper titled: Jewellery in Historical Portraiture 16th & 17th Century - status, significance & symbolism March 2014. " Heat exchange 2 - Artists Exchanging Energy. Group exhibition. UK & EU touring. September 2015 - May 2016 " A paper titled: Tracing time -Tracing threads. February 2016. " Schmuck, Munich, Germany. Group exhibition. March 2017. " Nexus: Meetings at the Edge. Group exhibition. UK touring. April - November 2017.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHeat Exchange 2 – Artists Exchanging Energy (four venues)
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Jewellery, enamel, drawing


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  • Schmuck 2017

    Cross, S., 2017

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

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