Sunday, 25 November 2012

Selene

....the Titan Goddess of the Moon, as described by Orpheus and Homer:

"To Selene (Moon), Fumigation from Aromatics. Hear, goddess queen (thea basileia), diffusing silver light, bull-horned, and wandering through the gloom of night. With stars surrounded, and with circuit wide night’s torch extending, through the heavens you ride: female and male, with silvery rays you shine, and now full-orbed, now tending to decline. Mother of ages, fruit-producing Mene (Moon), whose amber orb makes night’s reflected noon: lover of horses, splendid queen of night, all-seeing power, bedecked with starry light, lover of vigilance, the foe of strife, in peace rejoicing, and a prudent life: fair lamp of night, its ornament and friend, who givest to nature’s works their destined end. Queen of the stars, all-wise Goddess, hail! Decked with a graceful robe and amble veil. Come, blessed Goddess, prudent, starry, bright, come, moony-lamp, with chaste and splendid light, shine on these sacred rites with prosperous rays, and pleased accept thy suppliants’ mystic praise."
Orphic Hymn 9 to Selene (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)

"Long-winged Mene [i.e. Selene, as goddess of the month]. From her immortal head a radiance is shown from heaven and embraces earth; and great is the beauty that ariseth from her shining light. The air, unlit before, glows with the light of her golden crown, and her rays beam clear, whensoever bright Selene (the Moon) having bathed her lovely body in the waters of Okeanos, and donned her far-gleaming raiment, and yoked her strong-necked, shining team, and drives on her long-maned horses at full speed, at eventime in the mid-month: then her great orbit is full and then her beams shine brightest as she increases. So she is a sure token and a sign to mortal men."
Homeric Hymn 32 to Selene (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.)

I would not plan a dress based on a Greek goddess, it would probably be the last theme/age that I would want to make a dress from!  Drapey drapey is not my thing.  But I like my projects to have a name (someone to talk to when the sewing gets tough!) and after a couple of days of googling I came across a list of Greek goddesses and learnt about Selene. Not only a goddess of the Moon, she was goddess of some of my other favourite things: peace, horses, ocean tides, sight, dew and, rather appropriately for Halloween, magic.  Then I found the two hymns above and fell in love with the beautiful descriptions of a shining silvered goddess being drawn across a night sky; it perfectly matches my earlier thoughts about Van Gogh's Starry Night and some how creating a corset alive with the night sky.

I've also been playing with a few sketches and the one below is what I will be working to.  It will take a dramatically shaped corset from Norah Waugh's Crinolines and Corsets and combine it with mini panniers on the hips and a full but delicate skirt, covered in individual scales and featuring the prerequisite Mermaids tail!




I also found, in my googling, Rainbow Gallery's Varigated Gold Rush 14 threads, particularly Night Sky Blue, which I think will work as a very good background thread for the canvas layer of the corset.  So, whilst I have been quiet on my blog of late, I've not been entirely resting on my laurels!  I am exhausted by the manic new job and the change in season/light/temperature - the thyroid is not a happy camper - which makes me more likely to sit on the sofa and doze of an evening than get my laptop out and think some more, but it is giving me time to plot and ponder and I'm pleased with how this dress is starting to look in my mind.

And, ever the geek, I've also been having fun with my new Window's 8 phone - the camera on it is stunning, I'm enjoying this week's Wordless Wednesday :o)

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