Persian Bounty by Anna Scott
20th November 2020
Anyone with an interest in art will have come across representations of the pomegranate in various designs and techniques. It appears in painting, sculpture and embroidery, and is written into poetry and song.
This ancient fruit has been a lasting symbol throughout history, being revered in cultures as diverse as Ancient Greek, Chinese, Jacobean Britain and, of course, Persian.
The pomegranate tree is native to Persia, now Iran, and today boasts some 280 different varieties of this unusual and beautiful fruit.
It features heavily in the local cuisine, but also appears throughout the literature, culture and history of the country. From the many references in ancient poetry through to the many girls’ names in Iran which are a derivative of the Persian name for the fruit, the pomegranate is a fundamental part of the culture and identity of the Iranian people.
While the symbol was adopted across the world to represent life, love and rebirth, it’s predominance in Zoroastrianism, the ancient monotheistic religion of Iran, continues to inform many rituals practiced in the country and by the diaspora still to this day.
Fortunately, pomegranates now grow in many parts of the world, which means the tart, wonderful flavour can be experienced by everyone, and the deep symbolism can be appreciated regardless of one’s background.
Needlework artisan Anna Scott focuses on the pomegranate in her latest stumpwork masterpiece ‘Persian Bounty’ featured in Inspirations issue #108.
In a nod to the origins of the fruit, she has captured the jewel-like tones of the pomegranate perfectly, reflecting the rich reds, pinks and oranges in the delicate blossoms and shimmering leaves of her sinuous pomegranate branch.
The whole design is then brought to brilliant life by the inclusion of a diaphanous dragonfly, its attention captured by the open fruit shimmering with ruby red seeds. The seeds, created from a mass of closely sewn glass beads, seem to burst out of the side of the pomegranate and provide the perfect balance with the golden highlights of the visiting dragonfly.
Like many traditional stumpwork pieces, Anna’s project is filled with a range of different stitches and a combination of raised and surface elements. She has made subtle use of metal threads to highlight elements of the piece and to add that touch of sparkle which is guaranteed to catch the light – surrounding the stem of the plant, winding its way down the body of the dragonfly and criss-crossing its glorious pale blue wings.
Sinking Wire Tails
With the combination of colours, stitches and motifs, it is not difficult to read the symbolism of the pomegranate itself in Persian Bounty. In all cultures, but particularly in the Iranian culture, the fruit speaks of life and rebirth, which brings with it joy, hope and renewal.
Perhaps it isn’t going too far to say that this project and the message it brings is exactly what we need right now. But at the least, we can guarantee that the pleasure you will gain in working Persian Bounty will bring a smile to your face and joy to the heart of anyone who sees it.
Make Your Own Persian Bounty
Step 1 – Purchase Project Instructions
Persian Bounty by Anna Scott is a beautiful pomegranate study using a variety of stumpwork techniques.
Inspirations Issue 108
Persian Bounty – i108 Digital
Step 2 – Purchase Ready-To-Stitch Kit
The Inspirations Ready-To-Stitch kit for Persian Bounty includes everything* you need to re-create this delightful study: Fabrics (unprinted), wool felt, fusible webbing, wire, embroidery threads, beads and needle.
*Please Note: To cater for flexibility of purchase, instructions are not included with our kits. For step-by-step directions on how to create this project, please refer to the magazine/digital pattern.