Another Regency Era Fan

I haven't been able to do much sewing lately, what with all of the Holiday festivities and such.  I just started on my sleeveless chemise, and then will be moving on to my sleeveless petticoat.  Nothing too exciting, but when I'm finished with those, I will post pictures so that you can see the outcome.

High school musical season has started, and if I haven't mentioned this before, I'm the costume director.  This year's musical is Seussical, which means that, thankfully, I won't have to do too much sewing, but I have been scouring thrift stores around town for wacky and colorful ensembles.  We aren't taking a literal approach, so rather than big furry Sneetch suits, etc, we are going with things like, yellow, vintage inspired Whos and the jungle animals will be more "urban jungle" than anything.  Big hair is unavoidable though.  Expect pictures in a couple of months.

One thing I don't think I've mentioned yet is that I've been asked by JASNA Louisville to teach a fan painting workshop at next summer's Jane Austen Festival.  I'm thrilled about this, and have been researching fans.  If you have tons of extra time to waste, browse The British Museum's web site for late 18th century, early 19th century fans.  You won't be disappointed. 

A little over a year ago, I painted THIS FAN. I plan on using it as an example during the workshop, but was asked to create one that is more simply done up, in case someone might not feel up to such a challenge. 

So, today I sat down and using examples from The British Museum I came up with this.  Fun, colorful, simply done, but still very Regency-esq.  I hope it isn't intimidating.  What do you think?  Could a novice make a fan like this, or is it still too complicated?  It seemed easy to me.


Mommy said…
it doesnt look to complicated to me, and my speciallty is stick people, if you know what I mean;) I think it is very cute and colorful!
Looks like you have a lot of fun with fans ;)

ZipZip said…
Dear Jenni,

I think it's doable! If you create an outline in cardboard for the vase, and perhaps arc shapes that could be traced in pencil to make the outlines of the lines, then people could trace around them. Many people, given the word "trace", lose some of their concerns :}

You could teach them about sprigs and swags and how such are done with the paintbrush. Other than that it's squiggles and lines...

There is also a fan in the MFA that is just a plain color with spangles sewn on. The stitches run from one sequin to the next, so there's little tying off work. That would be a straightforward alternative for the truly paint-challenged, too: they can paint the fan a single color and spangle away.

Fun, fun!

Very best,

Jenni said…
Ladies, Thanks for the encouragement. I never know what someone might consider intimidating when it comes to art. It helps to hear other perspectives. :)
Sarah Jane said…
It is very exciting that you will be teaching a fan painting workshop next summer! Will their be a limit to participants? I want to be able to sign up for it at the earliest possible time!

I am not a painter, but the design you show on your newly finished fan does not look too hard to me. I was wondering if you plan on having the participants finish their fans during the workshop, and how much time will be allotted to work on the fans? If people are not able to finish them their, will they have a design sheet to take home, to be able to finish them on their own?

I love the idea of the spangled fan too. That would be so pretty and sparkly against a white dress. :)
Jenni said…
Sarah, I'm so glad you are interested in the class. It will be much easier to stand up and teach in front of a crowd if I know who they are, and that they won't eat me alive!

I really have no say in the logistics side of things. I'm assuming registration for the class will be about the same time registration for the festival comes around. I can't remember when that is...around May???Maybe?

Bonny Wise told me that the committee has to decide if there will be one or two classes, and they meet in January. The max limit for the class is 18 people. So, maybe, if people get in touch with Bonny through JASNA Louisville, and express interest, that might persuade them to have two classes.

The class time will be an hour and a half long (pending committee approval, of course). That should be enough time for teaching, working, and clean up. It took me almost exactly one hour to paint the above fan. I'm sure that if there is a person or two who needs a few extra minutes to finish their fan, then as long as the room isn't being used for something else, I doubt anyone would mind.

I will be using copies of extant fans from the British Museum as teaching tools, and for the students to use as inspiration. Unfortunately, I'm not legally allowed to pass them on to a third party to take home, since it is a classroom setting. They may only be used for instructional reasons and research. So, you won't be able to take those home. I might have a few basic templates, or stencils that people can take home if in dire need...but if there are two classes, then I will probably need to retain those for the second class.

Maybe having everything sketched out first on the fan in pencil (which is what I will be recommending) will get you far enough along that you can finish painting at home if you really need to. We will be using watercolor paints, which you can get practically anywhere, so that is definately something you can get if you need to finish your fan at home. ...hhhmmm. Lots of things to think about between now and then.
Nabila Grace said…
How beautiful! I think that it is just fine! :o) I wish I could visit for the festival and class!
Carys said…
That fan is beautiful! Happy New Year!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

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