Shrine Canopy for St Albans Cathedral

The studio created this bespoke hand embroidered shrine canopy for St Albans Cathedral in Hertfordshire.
 

https://rsnstudio.co.uk/images/projects/flowers_sq_DSC_3342.jpg
https://rsnstudio.co.uk/images/projects/flowers_sq_DSC_3342.jpg

Having restored the original shrine canopy for St Alban, the team were commissioned to design, embroider and construct a brand new shrine canopy to sit upon the newly restored shrine for St Amphibalus.
The striking floral design was influenced by the cross and flowers significant to the blessed story of Amphibalus. The red roses and buds were symbolic of martyrdom and the crisp ivory myrtle represented obedience to the will of God.

Detail of myrtle
Detail of myrtle

Our expert team of embroiderers drew from a variety of techniques to bring the outline drawing to life. Vibrant red, cream and green silks were applied to a rich blue silk base fabric. Metallic threads including Japanese gold and silver, rococo along with Russia braids coupled with silk floss were used to intricately embellish each individual flower, leaf and stem. Centralised on each of the shrine canopy ends was an ornate Alban Cross worked in couched gold threads.

Helen Stevens and Matthew Cayton working on the canopy in the studio
Helen Stevens and Matthew Cayton working on the canopy in the studio

Once all the embroidery had been completed the next stage of the project was to mount each of the panels onto a conservation grade Klug board. The individual panels were then attached to the metal frame work to create the 3D structure that now rests upon the carved stone shrine. Both canopies are now on permanent display at the Cathedral.