24April 2024

The Field of the Cloth of Gold: 6000 Englishmen in France for 18 days – How did they do it?

Jo Mabbutt

In 1520 Henry VIII and Francis 1, both young, handsome princes with similar prowess, ambition and patrons of art, met in a field near Calais. To impress and outdo each other is a must.  Royal palaces were virtually emptied of their silver, gold, tapestries and furniture to decorate a temporary ‘palace’ reaching up to 40ft high, along with silks, velvet, sables and pearls. All were shipped across the “Narrow Sea”, for fewer than 3 weeks!  How was it achieved? 

Jo Mabbutt  

Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and Freeman of the City of London. Originally a trained singer, pianist and orchestra administrator, Jo is now a decorative artist who gilds antique lace and crochet.  She works to commission, sells through galleries and exhibitions and collaborates with other designers. 

Jo trained in wood graining, marbling, gilding, specialist paint finishes and interior design and was awarded the City & Guilds Silver Medal for Excellence in 2000. She taught in further education for 8 years on Art & Design National Diploma and Foundation courses then up-skilled at Central St Martin's College of Art & Design developing her own practice. She now divides her time as a designer/maker, lecturer and tutor running workshops for specialist groups.