Dr Alexandra Makin

  • Research Associate (Archaeology)

Biography

I am a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the AHRC funded 'Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard' project, which is jointly run by the National Museum of Scotland and the University of Glasgow. My focus is the analysis of surviving textiles and skin products within the hoard and researching their wider contexts within hoarding and the early medieval period. 

Background

I am a textile archaeologist specialising in early medieval embroidery. I gained my PhD, 'Embroidery and its context in the British Isle and Ireland' from the University of Manchester in 2016. I am also a professionally trained embroiderer, having completed the three-year apprenticeship at the Royal School of Needlework in 1998.

I combine my archaeological and embroidery backgrounds within my academic research. A recent example is the experimental project, the 'St Cuthbert Maniple Recreation', where I reconstructed a section of the early 10th-century maniple, a gold and silk embroidered religious vestment that was discovered in the tomb of St Cuthbert in Durham Cathedral in 1827.

Wider Dissemination

I disseminate my work through publications and social media including my YouTube channel: Early Medieval Textiles and Instagram: @alexandramakin2. I highlight the work of other researchers in my blog: Early Medieval (mostly) Textiles

I have been interviewed for radio and television. I also gives lectures, presentations and runs embroidery workshops for different groups. 

Research interests

I am interested in a wide range of issues and larger research questions regarding early medieval embroidery and textiles. These include technical attributes and what these tell us about production methods; their place in wider early medieval material culture; the networks raw materials and finished products created and maintained; and the women who comissioned, made and used them.

Current Research

  • The analysis of textiles and skin products in the Galloway Hoard. This is part of the AHRC funded 'Unwrapping the Galloway Hoard' project run by the National Museum of Scotland and the University of Glasgow.
  • The St Cuthbert Maniple Recreation Project.
  • Sensory Archaeology as a means of exploring early medieval embroidery and textiles.
  • The roles of women in early medieval textile and embroidery culture.
  • Learning processes and innate knowledge in making embroidery and textiles.
  • Embroidery as part of wider early medieval cultures.
  • The cross-over of design motifs in early medieval art, particularly to and from embroidery.
  • Early medieval embroidery stitches.

Publications

List by: Type | Date

Jump to: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016
Number of items: 13.

2021

Lester-Makin, A. (2021) The embroidered fragments from the tomb of Bishop William of St Calais, Durham: An analysis and biography. In: Owen-Crocker, G. R. and Clegg Hyer, M. (eds.) Art and Worship in the Insular World: Papers in Honour of Elizabeth Coatsworth. Brill: Leiden, pp. 170-205. ISBN 9789004466999 (doi: 10.1163/9789004467514_009)

2020

Lester-Makin, A. (2020) Textiles in early medieval England part two: function. Crown Prints, XXIII(5), pp. 12-13.

Makin, A. (2020) Early medieval embroidery, women and creativity. Northern Women Arts Collaborative, 19 Nov.

Lester-Makin, A. (2020) Textiles in early medieval England part one: production. Crown Prints, XXIII(4), pp. 8-9.

Lester-Makin, A. (2020) Embroidery and its early medieval audience: a case study of sensory engagement. World Archaeology, 52(2), pp. 298-312. (doi: 10.1080/00438243.2020.1835530)

2019

Lester-Makin, A. (2019) The Lost Art of the Anglo-Saxon World: the Sacred and Secular Power of Embroidery. Series: Ancient textiles series, 35. Oxbow Books: Oxford. ISBN 9781789251449 (doi: 10.2307/j.ctv138ws2t)

2018

Lester-Makin, A. (2018) Les six châteaux de la Tapisserie de Bayeux: Une discussion technique du travail de broderie de la Tapisserie de Bayeux. In: Lemagnen, S., Brown, S. A. and Owen-Crocker, G. R. (eds.) L’Invention de la Tapisserie de Bayeux: naissance, composition et style d’un chef-d’œuvre médiéval (Colloque International). Point de Vues and Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux: Rouen, pp. 73-91. ISBN 9782371950306

Lester-Makin, A. (2018) The making of the Bayeux Tapestry: who made it, how long did it take, and how has it survived? BBC History Extra, 24 Oct.

2017

Makin, A. (2017) The Maaseik embroideries. Codex Eyckensis, 24 Sep.

Lester-Makin, A. (2017) Looped stitch: the travels and development of an embroidery stitch. In: Biggam, C., Hough, C. and Izdebska, D. (eds.) The Daily Lives of the Anglo-Saxons. Series: Essays in Anglo-Saxon studies (8). ACMRS, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Tempe, Arizona, pp. 119-136. ISBN 9780866985758

Makin, A. (2017) 'Kate Dimitrova and Margaret Goehring (eds) (2014), Dressing the Part: Textiles as Propaganda in the Middle Ages’, (Turnhout: Brepols). Coat of Arms, 13, pp. 62-66. [Book Review]

2016

Lester-Makin, A. (2016) The front tells the story; the back tells the history: a technical discussion of the embroidering of the Bayeux Tapestry. In: Henderson, A. C. and Owen-Crocker, G. R. (eds.) Making Sense of the Bayeux Tapestry: Readings and Reworkings. Series: Studies in design and material culture. Manchester University Press: Manchester, pp. 23-40. ISBN 9780719095351

Lester-Makin, A. (2016) Medieval Dress and Textiles in Britain: A Multilingual Sourcebook. Louise M. Sylvester, Mark C. Chambers and Gale Owen-Crocker (eds). Text, 43, [Book Review]

This list was generated on Thu May 19 05:55:31 2022 BST.
Number of items: 13.

Articles

Lester-Makin, A. (2020) Textiles in early medieval England part two: function. Crown Prints, XXIII(5), pp. 12-13.

Makin, A. (2020) Early medieval embroidery, women and creativity. Northern Women Arts Collaborative, 19 Nov.

Lester-Makin, A. (2020) Textiles in early medieval England part one: production. Crown Prints, XXIII(4), pp. 8-9.

Lester-Makin, A. (2020) Embroidery and its early medieval audience: a case study of sensory engagement. World Archaeology, 52(2), pp. 298-312. (doi: 10.1080/00438243.2020.1835530)

Lester-Makin, A. (2018) The making of the Bayeux Tapestry: who made it, how long did it take, and how has it survived? BBC History Extra, 24 Oct.

Makin, A. (2017) The Maaseik embroideries. Codex Eyckensis, 24 Sep.

Books

Lester-Makin, A. (2019) The Lost Art of the Anglo-Saxon World: the Sacred and Secular Power of Embroidery. Series: Ancient textiles series, 35. Oxbow Books: Oxford. ISBN 9781789251449 (doi: 10.2307/j.ctv138ws2t)

Book Sections

Lester-Makin, A. (2021) The embroidered fragments from the tomb of Bishop William of St Calais, Durham: An analysis and biography. In: Owen-Crocker, G. R. and Clegg Hyer, M. (eds.) Art and Worship in the Insular World: Papers in Honour of Elizabeth Coatsworth. Brill: Leiden, pp. 170-205. ISBN 9789004466999 (doi: 10.1163/9789004467514_009)

Lester-Makin, A. (2018) Les six châteaux de la Tapisserie de Bayeux: Une discussion technique du travail de broderie de la Tapisserie de Bayeux. In: Lemagnen, S., Brown, S. A. and Owen-Crocker, G. R. (eds.) L’Invention de la Tapisserie de Bayeux: naissance, composition et style d’un chef-d’œuvre médiéval (Colloque International). Point de Vues and Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux: Rouen, pp. 73-91. ISBN 9782371950306

Lester-Makin, A. (2017) Looped stitch: the travels and development of an embroidery stitch. In: Biggam, C., Hough, C. and Izdebska, D. (eds.) The Daily Lives of the Anglo-Saxons. Series: Essays in Anglo-Saxon studies (8). ACMRS, Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies: Tempe, Arizona, pp. 119-136. ISBN 9780866985758

Lester-Makin, A. (2016) The front tells the story; the back tells the history: a technical discussion of the embroidering of the Bayeux Tapestry. In: Henderson, A. C. and Owen-Crocker, G. R. (eds.) Making Sense of the Bayeux Tapestry: Readings and Reworkings. Series: Studies in design and material culture. Manchester University Press: Manchester, pp. 23-40. ISBN 9780719095351

Book Reviews

Makin, A. (2017) 'Kate Dimitrova and Margaret Goehring (eds) (2014), Dressing the Part: Textiles as Propaganda in the Middle Ages’, (Turnhout: Brepols). Coat of Arms, 13, pp. 62-66. [Book Review]

Lester-Makin, A. (2016) Medieval Dress and Textiles in Britain: A Multilingual Sourcebook. Louise M. Sylvester, Mark C. Chambers and Gale Owen-Crocker (eds). Text, 43, [Book Review]

This list was generated on Thu May 19 05:55:31 2022 BST.

Grants

2018. St Cuthbert Maniple Recreation Project; Society of Antiquaries, London; Janet Arnold Grant.

Teaching

Victoria and Albert Museum Academy Lecturer

  • Early Medieval: 300-1250, Year Course

Additional information

Academic and professional body membership

  • Royal Historical Society: Fellow
  • Chartered Institute for Archaeologists: affliate member
  • Royal Archaelogical Institute
  • European Association of Archaeologists
  • Centre International d'etude des Textiles Anciens (CIETA)
  • EuroWeb
  • Society for Medieval Archaeology
  • Early Textiles Study Group
  • Finds Research Group
  • Archaeological Leather Group

Consultancies

  • Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn Project
  • Technical embroidery: the Bayeux Tapestry
  • Ad Gefrin Visitor Experience 

Peer Reviewer

  • Archaeological Textile Review
  • Textile History Journal
  • Medieval Clothing and Textiles Journal