Happy New Year! May it be filled with lots of exciting embroidery adventures. And I can help you with that :). Below you will find details of two embroidery workshops I am organising this year. I have also returned to Social Media. Thanks to Elon Musk and his imperial behaviour on Twitter, I became aware of Mastodon. It is a social network but not as we know it from Meta. It is federated, has no algorithm and you have total control over your data and privacy. How do they do it? Quite simple. Mastodon is a non-profit and its software is open-source. The tone is very friendly and I have already met a few amazing embroiderers and embroidery artists. Most of them are new to me as the tribe on Mastodon is generally a bit different from the Meta tribe. So, if you share my concerns about privacy, Meta's threats to democracy and are generally fed up with an ever-changing algorithm, why not try Mastodon? You can find me here. I'll post pictures of what I am currently stitching. But I will also boost other interesting embroidery posts to make more people aware of this amazing artform.
After last year's successful embroidery workshop in Glentleiten, the museum and I decided to do it again this year. During the first weekend of August, we will again turn one of the historic buildings into a medieval embroidery workshop. This time, I will teach you how to recreate a golden bird inspired by the 11th-century Wolfgang chasuble. You will learn how to transfer the design and work on a professional slate frame. The actual goldwork embroidery consists of a few simple stitches (split stitch, stem stitch and couching) and is ideally suited for beginners. More advanced embroiderers can hone their skills in free-hand couching patterns. More information and how to sign up can be found here.
As Germany is quite a large country, I am slowly trying to find fitting workshop venues in other parts of the country. I am delighted to have been invited to teach at the Cathedral Treasury Museum in Halberstadt. Their medieval textiles collection on permanent display is probably the largest in Europe. We will be sitting in the medieval cloisters right next to the collection. This gives us ample opportunity to compare our own work with that of the medieval embroidery masters. During the workshop, you will learn three couching techniques which are commonly seen in medieval goldwork embroidery. You will also learn how to set up a professional slate frame. More details and information on how to book can be found here.
By now, you will probably have noticed that I am passionate about the use of quality embroidery tools and materials. Especially the use of a professional slate frame is something I am now adamant about. Why? Because I have seen some pretty ugly things happening outside the Royal School of Needlework. Ignorant me thought that all seasoned embroiderers would work on slate frames as soon as they tackled serious embroidery. That's how I was taught at the RSN. Especially for the full-coverage goldwork embroidery I usually teach, the good old slate frame simply rules. Just before the pandemic hit, I was made to teach my orphreys on a cheap roller frame. It wasn't fun. You need drum-taut fabric that stays that way for a long time. Roller frames and the like can't do that. Hoops can't either. That's why I now provide each of my students with a 12-inch slate frame from Jenny Adin-Christie. Together with a Lowery stand and a magnifier lamp, it forms the perfect workstation for my mobile classroom. Hope to see you in class soon!
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