The Sharp Needler will be taking a break for the holidays. See you all in 2018!

12 May 2017

Golden Oldie

Way back in 2007 I had the opportunity to take six days of goldwork classes with Royal School of Needlework (RSN) tutors in Iowa. RSN used to teach in Iowa every year and, although I didn't know it at the time, 2007 would be their last year there.

The first session was a one-day introduction to goldwork class. The next two days were for intermediate goldwork and the last three days were devoted to creative goldwork.

The first two classes were taught by the fabulous Shelley Cox and it was like goldwork boot camp. I learned so much. I especially liked the project for the intermediate class. (I don't know if Shelley was the designer.) It's a wonderful goldwork rose.


This single project includes many goldwork techniques which made it a wonderful learning experience.

In addition to couching various types of metal threads and chipwork, I got to do s-ing on the leaf veins and smooth purl over string padding (the stem). Also notice the leather in the upper left.


I intensely disliked working with the leather although I think it's very pretty on the rose. The final class in the RSN series also included leather and I don't plan on ever stitching it again. It's not for me especially the part about trying to force the needle through the leather. Never again, too painful!

The model had shaded red petals created by stitching the red couching closer together at the bases of the petals and further apart at the tops. We were told that we could just stitch the red in evenly spaced bricked stitching. I really liked the shaded effect so I went for it.

By the way, I have since learned, via another RSN class, that this red couching is not technically or nue, but rather something like coloured couching or perhaps Italian couching.

I found the red couching to be difficult. As I was couching the passing threads in a circle I had to spread them apart at the top of the petal and bring them closer together at the bottom. That may not sound particularly difficult, but I found it challenging. It came out OK and the effect is very nice.


This is one of the best embroidery experiences that I've had and it's one of my favourite embroidery projects. I still like it even after 10 years!


This project was featured on Needle 'n Thread many years ago. If you'd like to read about it there's a link in the References section.

References

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