I really enjoyed designing and stitching these next three elements of the Lord’s Prayer panel.
The first line that I wanted to decorate was the line that is usually translated ‘Hallowed be Thy name’. Neil Douglas-Klotz’s translation from the Aramaic suggests that a more accurate translation would be something like ‘Focus your light within us – make it useful’. He says that whatever you focus on in your life becomes ‘holy’ for you – you have given it importance. So, I wanted to get that across somehow. I used this border design as my inspiration for the embroidered border around the words:
The border design was simplified down to the clusters of three beads (a lovely scrunchy bright red seed bead that I’ve had in my stash for years).
I outlined each cluster with lazy daisy stitches with one strand of Coats Ophir gold thread, then worked stem stitch in dark brown (one strand of Anchor), and highlighted that with a single couched line of Coats Ophir gold. The green stems and leaves were done in split back stitch with a single lazy daisy stitch for each leaf.
As I was designing the positioning of the letters for this area, I deliberately left a space off to one side (rather than centre the lettering, and therefore fill the space), as the idea for the ‘focus’. I added this ‘focus’ in the form of three large flat gold sequins, held in place with a royal blue silver-lined seed bead – the central sequin having more prominence. A few dark red and gold stitches drew the elements together. I finished this section by outlining the box with couched Kreinik #16 braid.
The next box featured the line “Teytey malkuthakh”, which is usually translated “Thy kingdom come”, but another translation might be “Unite our ‘I can’ to Yours, so that we walk as kings and queens with every creature”.
For this section, I wanted to make a feature of the top of the box more than the lower part, so that there is a feeling of ‘moving up’, and improving – achieving something in life. So, I stitched on some gold bugle beads first, then added various French knots and seed beads. The bottom corners of the box just had three simple gold seed beads – so, they have decoration, but are not as dominant as the upper corners, so that the viewer’s attention is drawn up.
These little figure of eight motifs are placed towards the centre of the panel, and for a long time I wasn’t sure how to render these, although I liked the heart shaped centres.
I decided that it was the fact that the motifs in the ‘World of Ornament’ book were coloured black that was putting me off. Hearts are red, right?! So, I appliqued tiny metallic red kid hearts onto the fabric, and things started to look much better.
I couched a double line of Coats Ophir gold thread round the outside of the shapes, including the appliqued hearts, then added beads and blue thread in three shades.
These linked the various areas and colours of the panel, so that it was starting to look much more ‘full’.
4 thoughts on “The Lord’s Prayer – an Aramaic transliteration in surface embroidery: 5 – ‘Hallowed be Thy name’ and ‘Thy kingdom come’ lines”
Looking forward to seeing this done. A lot of good thought is going into it (as well as beautiful stitching).
What a wonderful way of spending the necessary time to reflect on the freshness of this translation. The meaning, as you see, is quite different from the conventional version we’d been taught, as would be the resulting practice.
Very nice details, it is clear you are putting a lot of thought and respect into this project.
Would it be possible for you to show us a photograph of the whole thing as it is at the moment please? I would love to see how all these bits fit in.
Thanks for your comments. I’ll put a progress photo into next week’s post.