The second term of my journey on the RSN Future Tutors course is in full swing and I am currently working on a traditional Goldwork piece called Three Gold Symbols.
This is one of the set pieces on the Future Tutors course and takes us through learning many of the traditional Goldwork techniques and applications of gold threads. The Three symbols that we are stitching are a Pomegranate, a Crown, and a Fleur de Lys and these can all be seen in the top row of the photo of the historical piece below.
I am really enjoying working on this piece and have certainly come to appreciate how much preparation and padding is required before any gold is actually applied, and that the application of the gold threads is tediously slow, and then there are the all ends to plunge and tie back! However the end result is really worthwhile.
These same symbols have been stitched by apprentices at the RSN since the very early days of the school and I have been fortunate to view a number of beautifully stitched examples held in the RSN collection. In the photo here you can see one of the historical pieces stitched by an RSN student some 50+ years ago.
While the Goldwork piece is keeping me busy right now, the other techniques to be mastered this term include an introduction to Silkshading, Stumpwork sampling, and Blackwork. Lots to keep me stitching every day.
Recreational Stitching.Last weekend I did manage to find time to do one of the RSNs brilliant weekend classes, a bright Stumpwork Flamingo designed and taught by the lovely Sara Rickards. This Flamingo is a fun and challenging design with beautiful silk fabrics, goldwork and detached elements. Sara always packages up the most beautiful kits, it is like opening a wonderful gift.
I really enjoyed the two days of class though I have not quite finished yet. The class brought another pleasant surprise as I found out that one of the other students and I shared a mutual good friend back in Australia. How lovely to have a good catch up.
I must now head back to stitch down more gold threads …