St James’, Alveston Altar and Lectern Falls

This commission came as a memorial for a beloved husband, father and grandfather. I was asked to incorporate the clients Scottish Celtic roots and symbols connected to St James.

The Pulpit Fall

I began with a visit to the church where I took lots of photographs, I was particularly drawn to the stencils on the ceiling of the choir. The colours and style were very Arts and Crafts, a style I particularly love. These motifs and the colours inspired the panels down either side of the main image, on the arms of the central cross and in the ‘swooshes’. I incorporated some Celtic knotwork on the circular element of Celtic cross, this effect was achieved by stitching channels between two layers of fabric and then pulling woolen thread through the channels, creating a raised line. The shell of St James features right in the centre of the whole design, worked in a padded gold kid leather technique. The ‘swooshes’ behind the central cross came about because the client wanted the design to have a dynamic feel of movement. The pulpit fall has elements of the main piece with the shell of St James at it’s centre.

This was a really challenging commission for me due to its sheer size and the complexity of the design, just working out how much fabric I needed was so difficult, I have to say thank you to my mathematically minded son for his help in this department!! Then Covid struck and it is only very recently that I have been able to visit the church to see it in situ.

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