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Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:03 pm
My efforts for a St George's Day event run by L & M last year.
They are the symbols of the four evangelists, made from Salt dough.
Ox of St Luke
Lion of St mark
Eagle of St John
Book of St Matthew
I haven't got a coloured up picture of the book of St Matthew, when I get it I will post up.
Quite crude, there was a lot of distortion during the drying, I had to make the book at least twice if I recall correctly.
Painted using gelatine size, proper pigments, ochres, whites, indigo, gold and silver leaf.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:05 pm
The unpainted book of St Matthew. This one may have ended up junked I can't remember if it was this one that got made or the next one.
Anyway i will find out when I get shot of the actual book.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:12 pm
We had a "subtlety" at Sheffield - a large pie with nothing inside which would have been filled with birds like the rhyme and given as a joke.
(Much to the consternation of a snobby MOP who was convinced it was a normal pie)
Same sort of thing?
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:25 pm
Sounds like a subtle joke to me...or has the potential for it, the pie after the birds took off.
Well in theory they are food sculptures/things aren't they, how they are actualy contrived/explained etc is another matter.
So, yes to me I would say it was.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:33 pm
you could always try wax if you do it again J, should avoid the distortion problems.
Craig, a subtlety is a form of decoration for the table/hall; sometimes edible sometimes not. A modern analogy would be ice sculpture.
I personally wouldn't say that any of the bird filled pie recipes would be a subtlety (especially one without the birds), more a surprise dish on the table. In the main, subtleties are 'lookers' (for want of a better phrase), designed to catch the eye.
Recipes such as the birds in a pie fall more into the 'false' food genre, that is recipes that look like one thing but are in fact something else such as meatballs coloured green with herbs and shaped like pears or haslets of fruit (designed to look like gut) etc.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:42 pm
I now have changed my definition of subtlety, my error is using it as a generic.
Gandi has the right of it.
I shall remember that, thanks.
Would my evnagelists still be subtleties Gandi, they are certainly inedible?
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:59 pm
Would my evnagelists still be subtleties Gandi, they are certainly inedible?
yes, certainly. (in both cases
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:29 pm
Did you have to use a gilder's tip and soforth to gild your works of art, or did you find a simpler way of doing it?
I think they're great, by the way!
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:35 pm
We generally make the subtleties 'technically' edible, but know that at most they will get nibbled rather than scoffed. We've done things like a Green Man in Marzipan, a replica of Ross & Ingrid (Knights et Armis) tent, a rather anachronistic White Tree of Gondor in white chocolate (followed in the next return by a firework powered Mount Doom which spat smoke and jelly One Rings), our all time favourite is a papier mache dragon stuffed with sweets that gets introduced into the banquet by a screaming maiden who is then rescued by a knight who slays the dragon spilling sweets over the floor- we've done that one a few times by popular request, hmm what else, we've had sugarpaste peacocks, blancmange highly anatomical 'Paps of Jura', fruit cake Sword in the Stone, a Phoenix Nest made out of cinnamon, rosewater and gum tragacanth quills, all sorts of things
We like subtleties
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:02 pm
Moosie - cheers.
Erm no, just a soft bristle hog hair flat brush. As it was going on 'crude' work no need to worry about faulting or stuff plus you need to use smaller bits for three 3d work. As long as the brush is only used for that it is fine. But I use a tip for other bigger bits. Gilding is not something I have yet got off with confidence, but it is getting better. Believe it or not I am having trouble finding a course to learn it, without it being part of some masters/conservation course. (If you know of one, a weekend course I would be grateful to hear about it.) So am having to self-teach, lots more trial and error than i would like, but as I say getting there. I wouldn't win any gilding prizes but for much of the work I do gold an silver play small parts so are easier to manage.
Sally - that lots sounds ace. I like are that you can eat, Paps of Jura eh???
Did you keep any photos, be nice to see them?
Years back we made a guild subtelty, ie a winged ox of st Luke, made of salt dough, blind baked, gilded wings* etc and filled with medeival sweets. We got the kids at the banquet to belt it with fire irons and ladels. Pinata anyone? People looked in horror as our masterpiece was destroyed, we laughed as it was the sacrifice that counted, a complete acceptance of the outcome.
*kept them, bits of the beast were kept as souvenirs. My wings hang in the kitchen.
I would happily do more
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:13 pm
I'll dig out some piccies of them all together for you Jorge - including the finished Matthew.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:36 pm
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:37 pm
Brilliant Jorge! lovely to see - the first one is a bit startling to come across unexpectedly! Awk! Awk!
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:51 pm
Heya Temporary Guy
Unfortunately, I don't know of any short courses vailable for gilding etc. I'm a conservator by trade and so did some gilding at uni. I got water gilding off ok, but never really got the hang of oil gilding onto gesso and bole, partially because it's so damn boring (I never said that, right?!) I'd be glad to share anything I know if you need any help or advice, not that I'm a world expert, but I have some experience of it!
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:07 pm
interesting that oil gilding is supposed to be easier and water the harder, well I can do the oil mordants ok....you can do the water....how about that?
the subtleties were water gilded as you can see.
But more than happy to strike up a convo I certainly will want to bend your ear about some things.
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:27 pm
This part of the forum is so good!
The best solttyttie I've done was a marchpane model of TAON's LB lying in a sultry fashion on a cushion wearing a leather dress atop a rather nice madeira cake hill, all green with coloured chopped nuts. (somewhat appropriate, I thought.).
It's not the will to do it, but the opportunity I need!
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:42 pm
Yes cat this is the comfort zone.
Controversy free, well for now....
Result, my auntie Vicky has found me a gilding course, took me ages to find nowt. She does it, she is magic.
Moosie - I will pm you re other things as well as goldie looking things
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:28 am
i once spent a whole week making the Ilse of Lewis chess set from nougat and marzipan,dont think i'll ever try that again lol still trying to find a pic of it though
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:57 am
What can I say, Jorge, my Google-fu is well-honed. I am at one with Google.
Anyway, I got the evangelist subtleties Jorge made out of their box, where they sit, carefully wrapped and sprinkled with salt, in order to take a photo last night. Nearly a year after they were made and they still look great (I'll post the photo when I get a chance). I have to say that Jorge made these on relatively short notice, and with very little brief (I wanted 4 decorative objects which formed a greater 'whole' when put together - all of the details were suggested by Jorge). Highly recommended if you need something special/flashy for an event.
Posted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:50 am
Right you are TG, glad to help in any way I can. Really glad you found a course - where is it?
It's not so much that oil gilding is difficult, just drawn out when you have to make a section for beneath it: mould your compo, layer the gesso, saaaaand the gesso, put the bole on....Brain numbing!!
I would love to do a subtlety, but I'm not sureif our lot are subtle enough (they're going to kill me now)
Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 11:59 am
Okay, you guys, so just how do you find period colouring for any marzipan subtleties you make at an event? I am due to take part in making Christmas subtleties in December and want to use natural period colouring, not gold.
Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:14 pm
we had a wonderful subtlety at Kentwell some years ago - a huge grey marchpane rat was carried in by a priest, who spent some time discoursing about how the flesh is full of sin, the body is foul etc etc, but when these are cast forth, the soul is pure - at which point he sliced open the rat to reveal a live hamster (very contented looking, having been eating the marchpane from the inside...). He claimed it was a muscovy rat. Did they have hamsters in the 16thC?
Posted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 12:56 pm
Tamsin Lewis wrote:we had a wonderful subtlety at Kentwell some years ago - a huge grey marchpane rat was carried in by a priest, who spent some time discoursing about how the flesh is full of sin, the body is foul etc etc, but when these are cast forth, the soul is pure - at which point he sliced open the rat to reveal a live hamster (very contented looking, having been eating the marchpane from the inside...). He claimed it was a muscovy rat. Did they have hamsters in the 16thC?
They certainly had siberian hamsters
Beautiful work on the subtlies by the way.
Posted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:01 pm
"Okay, you guys, so just how do you find period colouring for any marzipan subtleties you make at an event? I am due to take part in making Christmas subtleties in December and want to use natural period colouring, not gold.
(gold is period but I see what you are saying).
Greens from green plants, assuming edible ones.
Yellow (gold) from saffron
tansy petals too
Later periods use alkanet root
Reds, IIRC sandalwood is ok for food use.
If your subtlety is not for eating then various pigments.
I suggest pming Gandi, he really does know loads.