Cloisonné Angels

Good morning, stitchers!

I hope you all had a wonderful and peaceful Thanksgiving week with family and friends.

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday for me, but the days around it get a little busier as 35 performances of The Nutcracker for Houston Ballet begin. (I am the harpist in the orchestra.) We open the Friday after Thanksgiving and continue until almost the end of December.

The Nutcracker is a big part of the winter performing arts season in Houston and our production designed by Desmond Heeley has been seen by more than a million people since its debut in 1987. If you type in ‘Houston Ballet Nutcracker images’ online you will see still photos of this stunning visual feast.

In my last post I introduced the jewel-toned Byzantine angels. Today I bring you my second group of angels, in a Cloisonné style.

While the Byzantine angels are on a background of vibrant red, these present a palette of aqua and teal and a rich cobalt/midnight blue.

They come in three different shapes and sizes. Octagonal, rectangular, and arched. All are painted on 18 count, but could be on 16 if you prefer.

The rectangular angel below measures 4″ x 7″ on 18 count.


I was reading that the French verb cloissonner means to partition. This makes sense as the metalwork is divided into partitions or compartments, little raised cells that are then filled with enamel, glass and jewels. I am using lots of beads and Kreinik Facets to give the effect of enamel.

Below you will see my first efforts to bring this canvas to life with Silk Lamé Braid and beads. I am going to frame it and place it on a stand.

On the left is the pattern I chose for the robe. My favorite — Criss-Cross Hungarian. Filled in with beads.

Below is the brick-beading on the wings… and the Rhodes type stitch on the aqua square.





I will send more photos as I progress. If I could finish the rectangular Byzantine and Cloisonné angels by the last performance of The Nutcracker I would be happy!

Happy stitching! Joan

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