I've always been interested in different types of embroidery techniques and textile art in general. I've done copious amounts of reading on the topic, but I can procrastinate no more! I'd previously thought that goldwork would be a technique that I would have to admire rather than try for myself as I felt it was something that would benefit from being demonstrated in class rather than self taught from a book. Whilst I would love to attend an RSN day class, the distance is just too far for me, so I figured I would just put the idea to bed.
Until that is a stitchy friend pointed me in the direction of Sarah Homfray, who currently teaches for the RSN as well as running her own private needlework classes. Sarah has a beginner's goldwork kit where the instructions are delivered entirely by YouTube videos which was just perfect for me and exactly what I was looking for. So here are my goldwork supplies for my much anticipated new start:
My kit, plus two other essential pieces of goldwork equipment: beeswax and a pair of goldwork scissors. Goldwork scissors differ from ordinary embroidery scissors as they have one serrated blade which helps prevent the threads from slipping when you are cutting them.
So what's in the pack? First of all there is the design, which is helpfully already transferred onto the cotton fabric for you and also includes a piece of calico backing to give added strength to your finished piece:
Also included are all the other wires, threads, felt and needles you need to complete the design:
The types of goldwork thread used in the design (from left to right) are: Japanese thread, Rococco thread, Pearl Purl, Bright-check Purl and Wire-check Purl.
I am going to try very hard to slow down and pace myself when working on this design and channel the Slow Stitching Movement! I won't share my progress stage by stage, but will probably do a big reveal once it's complete - no pressure that way! If goldwork turns out to be something that I enjoy, the cost of materials makes it something that I would not be able to have on the go all the time, so I want to savour my stitching! I have a terrible habit of "gobbling up" the projects that I'm really excited about. I speak as a stitcher that finished the majority of her first large Chatelaine mandala (Chinese Garden) in 6 weeks!
On the other hand of course, I might be a complete failure at it and this may be my first and last post on goldwork - the point of the blog though is to keep me honest and accountable, so if I haven't mentioned this project in a while feel free to nudge me about it!
If you are interested in this techinique, obviously the stitching oracle Mary Corbet has written a plethora of articles on the topic. I'm also a huge fan of Sophie Long's work (@sophieembroidery on IG) and love her most recent video using Pearl Purl and silk ribbons together. There are so many talented artists out there, I'm just glad they share their work as I find it so inspiring!
So they'll be lots of couching of thread going on hopefully over the weekend and then I get to pick up Plum Pudding on 1st April to continue my SAL with Nic! I'll be back before then though with an Operation Threadporn update and to see how March's stitching goals went.......