I hand printed these altar cloths with a hand carved circular Phoenix
stamp and a Winged Myrrh corner piece stamp on my etching press.
The altar cloth is double sided: shiny orange coloured cloth with red print and rich gold coloured cloth with black print. This way you get two altar cloths in one. Sometimes the gold taffeta is paler, and sometimes it is more intense: it all depending on how the light hits the cloth.
The Phoenix is a Greek Mythological creature, but similar concepts also
appear in many other cultures. For example in Egyptian Mythology they
have a very similar bird called the Bennu. The Phoenix is a symbol of
the sun, reincarnation, time, resurrection and consecration. This
cloth's print design has a mix of different symbols that are associated
with the Phoenix and the Bennu. Here is a brief overview:
-The Phoenix and Bennu took on many different forms with likenesses to an eagle, a peacock or a heron. I based mine mainly on the heron.
-The Phoenix is associated with the Greek sun God and Titan "Helios", the seven sun beam halo is representative of this.
-The bird would fill his nest with spices such cinnamon.
-After building its only funerary pyre, the Phoenix would die in bursts of flame and would then be reborn from the ashes.
-The Bennu is said to create an egg of Myrrh to contain its predecessor's remains.