During these last few months I have been progressing through the third and final term of my First Year on the Future Tutors Course, and what a strange and interesting learning experience this term it has been!
All Tuition across the entire term has been delivered either digitally/online. The way the RSN tutors have adapted their delivery and supported our learning has been brilliant. By undertaking full day Zoom sessions using two devices to log in, with one focused on your face and one on your work piece, along with additional companion images shared in a closed WhatsApp group, we generally have managed to approximate the classroom experience. The only real negative for me was finding out midway through the term that my phone battery could no longer hold a charge, and then suffering through nearly 3 weeks of no phone as I had to courier it off to a distant repair shop to get the battery replaced. I quickly came to realise how much I depend on these electronic devices.
Alongside the usual Art and Design classes this term, the principle embroidery techniques that I am studying are Botanical Silkshading and Mixed Whitework .
For the Silkshading subject I choose a Waterlily blossom (see last post) as my source image, and a rich blue Silk Dupion as my ground fabric. We also needed to include some stem and a leaf with a turnover in the final design, however as Waterlily leaves can be really big I ended up including only a partial leaf rather than the whole thing in my composition. Stitching this Waterlily has proven to be challenging as the particular flower I am stitching has some turnover element within most petals, as well as the very obvious larger turnover on the partial leaf.
I have not yet completed this piece though it is well underway, and once finished this piece will still need to be hard mounted in the traditional RSN style.
The Mixed Whitework classes have covered a wide range of whitework techniques such as Shadow Work, Broderie Anglaise, Richelieu, Pulled patterns and Drawn Thread embroidery. There are actually 3 distinct pieces of combined embroidered works to be handed in for this subject and each of these is worked on the different type of ground fabric. Alternating across each of these techniques has proven to be challenging as sometimes you just need to push ahead with embroidering on the one piece – once you have got the tension just right.
As I was developing the design for the mixed ‘Pulled and Drawn Thread’ piece I kept thinking about where I was being pulled and drawn to during the lockdown, and as a result I decided to try to design this piece look like an antique map of Australia. While the piece is still in progress I am happy how it is coming along so far, though I still have a lot of additional Drawn Thread work to do.
Like so many others I find myself suffering a little from Lockdown Lassitude so everything I am sampling or embroidering seems to be taking longer to complete than I had expected.
So for now the stitching journey continues and thankfully the lockdown is easing a little, and the days are getting longer and warmer as Summer is on the way.
Happy stitching and stay safe.