Continuing on my Future Tutor journey, the focus for the first half of the Second term has been on the techniques of traditional Goldwork – learning how to handle, stitch, and store metal threads. All Future Tutor students are required to complete a set piece of Goldwork which has three of symbols that have been worked at the RSN since it’s earliest days.
3 Gold Symbols
Traditional RSN embroidered work, from the RSN collection.
I have been stitching the three symbols across the top row of this piece.
The aim of the module has been to produce a embroidered piece that can be used as a teaching sample for any future Goldwork classes, so leaving half of each design element partially worked allows the method of working to be clearly seen. Interestingly this piece has taken the greatest number of hours to work so far even though we actually only complete half of each symbol in the design.
The Symbols we stitched are those traditionally used in “church work”. These are embroidered elements that are often found within the decorative work on vestments, banners, and various alter adornments.
The pomegranate fruit is shown split open with the ‘pips’ or seeds exposed. This piece uses filament silk in deep red to satin stitch over the raised pips.
The crown has Jewels surrounded by S-ing (also sometimes called in embroidery books – Essing).
Fleur de Lys
This element gave lots of practice in goldwork basketweave but also had us making our own twisted cord.
While each stitched element is not fully worked, the entire piece must be fully stretched and card mounted prior to handing in. The process of mounting Goldwork can take a significant amount of time as great care must be taken so that the work is not damaged during the process. Bubblewrap is your friend for this step! Thankfully I have now finished and the piece is ready to hand in on the last day of the term.
Enjoying the Mid term break
I rounded out the first half of this second term with a birthday celebration which included a 3 day visit to Bath, and lovely stay in a very well located traditional BnB ( Three Abbey Green) with a generous ‘cooked to order’ full English breakfast each day. Particular highlights in Bath being the beautiful city centre, the parks, the River, the Fashion Museum (lots of spectacular Embroidery here) and the Roman Baths. A must do trip!
Now it is on to Blackwork…..