Monday, 13 April 2015

Felix Rasumny Art Nouveau Medal

Sorting through my late mother's jewellery box I found this medal which has intrigued me.  On the front is a Art Nouveau picture of a lady wearing a helmet whilst on the back is written NANCY RECORD and a picture of a rifle and pistol with the Lorraine cross (also known as the Free French Cross) surrounded by thistles.  There is also a very tiny signature of F Rasumny on the front.

Upon further investigation I have found out that Felix Rasumny (1869 - 1940) was a Russian engraver who emigrated to France.  He trained at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs under masters such as Millet (one of my very favourite artists), Gauthier and Tasset.

In my ignorance I started my research thinking Nancy Record was a person but Nancy is the former capital of Lorraine and the home of Art Nouveau in north east France.  The thistle is the symbol of Lorraine and is a main feature in the coat of arms of Nancy.

Early Lorraine crosses differed but earlier designs are the same as this one in that the horizontal beams are of equal length and equally spaced.  The Lorraine region, because of its location, has hosted many wars and battles.  Twice it was annexed by Germanyand when Hitler took control of the region in WWII General de Gaulle chose the Croix de Lorraine as a symbol of resistance against the German advance.  This is when it became known as the Free French Cross.

There was also much fighting in this area during WWI and I rather think this medal dates from then or even earlier.

This is all I have found out about it but I am fascinated by its origins and wonder if many of these were made and who they were given to.  I haven't found any images or reference to another similar one on the internet.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Sew and Sew

I have been spending quite a lot of time in my sewing room lately.   I love it in there; it is quite a small room and my sewing table now overlooks the garden.

My daughter gets married in less than a month's time and, as she is having a rustic theme for the wedding, I have been sewing lots of hessian items but mainly bunting.  I have been sewing lace onto the hessian as well as appliqueing co-ordinating fabrics onto it and stencilling hearts with paint.

I worked out that I needed to produce 24 metres and have now done it all!  I have also stencilled lengths of hessian for table runners and sewn a ring pillow (which will be attached to their dog's collar as he is the ring bearer!) as well as covering jam jars for night lights.

Hessian is very messy to work with, all those loose fibres so it was good to have a change and sew with some normal fabric.  I made this pair of cushions from some very pretty vintage French fabric.  I only managed to buy a small piece so this is all I could make from it.  They have been added to my website.