The 30 hours of teaching have come to an end at the Alpine Experience. One more fantastic dinner tonight and then my husband and I will drive back after breakfast tomorrow morning. All students have done a fantastic job and I am very proud of their progress. Or nue is both a very simple technique and one of the hardest things you can do. You start off swimming a bit (and I will let all able-bodied persons swim a bit, but not drown ;)) but when it clicks with you, you will have learned a skill for life. Or nue is a very versatile embroidery technique and I can't wait to see my students incorporate it into future projects (but please finish Elisabeth first!) and encourage others to learn the technique too. By the way, the scientific part of this course has yielded the first results. All students used the same pricking and the resulting inked outlines lay within 0.3 mm length-wise and 0,1 mm width-wise. This shows that when a medieval pricking and a preserved embroidery (the underlying ink drawing rather) are out by several millimetres, they likely do not belong together.
Here are the results of a week of hard work:
Today we had another full day of stitching at the Alpine Experience. The ladies were competing in a friendly race on who would be able to introduce the green silk first (Elisabeth has a red dress and a green mantle). Lots of laughter and bending of the rules :). We also had another visitor. After lunch, a beautiful red cat came walking in as though he totally owned the place.
As it is quite impossible to finish all of Elisabeth during the 30 hours of tuition at the Alpine Experience, students will have access to a set of instruction videos. They also have the choice of working Elisabeth in the same shades of silk that I have used, or they can colour match using this lovely collection of Chinese flat silk. In a couple of weeks (months?), we will all meet on Zoom to check in on progress and discuss any questions which might have come up.
Today we had a full day of stitching at the Alpine Experience. Interspersed with fabulous food made by Mark and served by Nadine. And we had a couple of interesting visitors. Firstly, Harry the lizard. He seems to like sunbathing on Cathryn's trestles. We are pretty sure that he sleeps in the couch at night :). As the Alpine Experience is situated in a beautiful area, most of us like to take walks after class to stretch after a whole day of sitting and to let our eyes rest on the horizon. There is a particularly lovely short walk through the forest to the next hamlet. Plenty of wildflowers and butterflies included. And some gorgeous old buildings and cottage gardens to admire. Today, I picked up a mildly lost man from Guadeloupe. We stroke up a conversation in English (with a bit of my broken French) on our concepts of God. And it was really quite amazing! He also asked if he could see our embroidery as his mum used to embroider. As you know from a previous post, my ladies are not averse to a beautiful male :). This kind soul was very impressed and thanked us for the wonderful opportunity and then continued on his walk. Les Carroz is a truly magical place!
Tomorrow, I'll show you Cathryn's version of Elisabeth; I took a picture of her piece at the wrong angle ...
After another wonderful breakfast with pain au chocolat at the Alpine Experience, we went to Annecy. This is a lovely medieval town with crooked streets, narrow passageways and lots of old buildings with lovely independent shops. One of these shops is a well-stocked needlework shop. The window display sported many stitched models of the famous French cross-stitch brand of 'Le bonheur des dames'. But they also had a huge selection of quilting fabrics and ribbons. And printed canvasses with Annecy town scenes. Now that makes for a lovely souvenir to take home!
Tomorrow, we will continue with our or nue. But having such a lovely break in good company was an excellent idea. We laughed so much about Nadine's stories and we nearly took one of the waiters home as a kind of a toy boy...
After a fabulous breakfast with hot croissants, it was time to start the or nue proper. By the end of the day, all ladies had a couple of rows in. Nobody cried and they seem to seriously enjoy themselves. We also had a lovely visit from a French couple passing by on foot. They were suitably impressed with our stitching. Here are a couple of pictures of today's class.
This week, I am teaching or nue at the Alpine Experience in France. I am joined by Cathryn, Eleanor, Jane, and Tricia from the UK, as well as Bolivia from the US and Caroline from Chile. They will recreate the orphrey figure of Elisabeth of Thuringia. The original can be found on a red dalmatic kept at the Museum Catharijneconvent (ABM t2093c). It was made in Amsterdam around AD 1510-1520. All students will share the same pricking and will try to copy the original. In my mind, this setting comes very close to medieval practice. This week, I'll try to blog daily about our progress and our stay at the Alpine Experience. No worries; you will not receive a daily newsletter. I will not spam you :).
The students did really well today. By the end of the day, they all had their slate frames dressed and their design inked onto their linen fabric. They also coloured a line drawing of Elisabeth. This makes you look real close at the original and will help with the actual stitching.
The workshop has these fantastic big windows with a spectacular view of the mountains. Magnifier lamps and trestles are available for student use as well.
And Mark and Nadine make sure that we do not go hungry nor thirsty :). The food is amazing. These blueberry muffins with a crumbly topping were just divine.
And I brought boxes full of coloured metal threads, silks and embroidery kits. You do not want your students to go home with an empty space in their suitcases :).
See you tomorrow for more Alpine Stitchyness!
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