I am amazed to realise that I have just commenced the final term of my second year of the RSN Future Tutors course. This term is the last one that is completely classroom based; in our third year we move into the studio to commence the restoration and studio modules of the course. The best news is that we will finally be returning to in-person classes at Hampton Court Palace. We are such a small group that we fit in under the Covid guidelines for meeting in person. I did manage to walk around the Palace grounds during the break to see the Tulip Festival. I have included a few snaps, but they really don’t do justice to the riot of colour. Spectacular!
Finishing and mounting everything at the end of term 2 in time to meet the hand-in deadline was a real rush, but I did eventually manage to submit all four of my pieces (Tapestry Silkshading, Appliqué, Box, and Whitework) on time at the end of the term. I always find the work to compile the required paperwork (timesheet, materials sheet, design sketches in B&W and Colour, self evaluation, teaching notes etc.) a huge effort at the end of each module. However I do have to acknowledge that all this work gives me a great opportunity to critically review my work, and hopefully will be a useful resource as I move ahead with my teaching career. On review, I usually find myself dissatisfied with my work and see plenty of opportunity to improve, but that really is the purpose of all this learning.
Looking forward, I have read through the timetable for the Third term and it is certainly going to be a busy one. The two techniques I will be starting are Fine Whitework and Silkshaded Animal, while additionally I will be finalising the Stumpwork Figure and Coronation Goldwork pieces that have carried over from the previous term. There are also Collection Lectures and an Art and Design module.
Carrying forward the remaining classes for the Goldwork and Stumpwork techniques was unavoidable due to some lockdown supply and access issues, despite our tutors best efforts in trying to make the online lessons fun. In my opinion, online teaching for embroidery that has ‘ dimensionality’ and raised elements like Stumpwork and highly raised Goldwork is even more difficult than online teaching for pieces that are surface stitched.
I have been filing away some notes about online teaching as a result of things I have learnt from lockdown learning. You never know when they might be useful! We are now at the really interesting stage with each of these techniques – Gold will be applied to the extensively prepared Goldwork padding, and Heads will be added to Stumpwork figures – I can’t wait to see all the works in person.
I have also used the end of term break to commence developing my designs for the new term, and have decided to continue the nautical theme in my Whitework piece and stitch a Bird for my silk shaded animal. My lovely friend Bernadette Bee from @bernadette_bee_birds takes the most beautiful Australian bird photos, and has kindly given me permission to use one of her shots for my embroidery. So many choices, but I have decided to go with colour!
I had a very pleasant suprise recently when I heard that the Embroiderers’ Association of Canada/Association canadienne de broderie! have a little article on one of my embroideries ‘Pulled and Drawn to Australia’ in their Spring 2021 Issue of Embroidery Canada Magazine. The focus of this issue is Maps, so my whitework seems to fit right in.