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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Louisville 2008: Marion Scoular's RSN experience

As promised, here is the picture-heavy post from Marion's lecture. Marion started at the Royal School of Needlework in 1953 when she was just 16. At the time, she was the youngest student ever enrolled. The next three years were spend stitching in the morning and doing art/design activities in the afternoon, except for Thursdays, which were for dressmaking. This curriculum in the school lasted until the mid-60's (if I recall correctly). At the time, the diploma was considered a Master's level degree in art. The certification process is a bit different now, and no longer carries the same weight.

Anyway, on to the pictures!
Each piece they worked was on the right side of the full piece of fabric. On the left side, there were several inches reserved for doodles. Above is one of the doodle areas from Marion's blackwork project. She has these doodles matted for display and reference purposes.

This is the associated blackwork project. The design process sounded interesting, with each student playing with cut paper shapes and gluing them down into different configurations. When it came time to do a new project, the teachers would go through each student's collection of such creations and narrow down the designs to those that would be appropriate for the technique to be worked. After a bit of tweaking and refining, the piece could be stitched (after the doodle was complete for reference).

This is her "basic" whitework/drawn work piece. Sure... basic. Uh huh.

This is the advanced whitework piece. It was really hard to take a good picture of this without casting a shadow. The dove's eyes in the cut portions are about 1.5mm (yes, mm) across.

This was a multi-technique project done in silk. It was fascinating to see the play of light off of this. Above is the close shot of the elephant, and the entire composition is below.
This is a close-up of the edging of the nightie she made in dressmaking class. It's impressive enough without knowing that the entire thing is made of nylon (ugh!), and that the stitching is done with a thread pulled from the same fabric. Rayon's bad enough. Marion's only comment was that nylon is a bit unruly or uncooperative (or some such understatement).

One of the last projects the students worked was ecclesiatical needlework. Above is a close-up of the fully-stitched angel's face. The other angel on the piece was a mirror image, entirely in applique, in different colors. Below is Marion holding the full piece.I hope you enjoyed this abbreviated version of Marion's collection from the RSN. Thank you to Marion for allowing me to post these pictures.

9 comments:

backstitch said...

What amazing work! Thanks for posting all these beautiful pictures. As a new stitcher, I often wonder what will happen in the field as it appears formal embroidery education has dropped off.

NCPat said...

Incredible and my thanks for sharing with us. A great opportunity to see exquisite pieces!

Love to Stitch 99 said...

I have always loved Marion's work and I had not even seen the half of it. She is one talented lady.

Thanks for sharing :-)

Pierrette =^..^=

Elmsley Rose said...

oh wow. Holy Moly.

Thankyou for the pictures.

alarttex said...

I like so much your work, congratulations!!
Also I like very much the Marion's books!!

Maria del Valle

Cyn said...

Hi Jeanne,

Thanks for sharing Marion's Royal School of Needlework experience with us. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of her beautiful projects!

One of my teenage dreams was to attend the Royal School of Needlework but it was not to be. Yes, I did know about it back then and yes I would have loved to go after I completed High School. :-)

Cynthia
Windy Meadow

Beth in IL said...

Thanks for sharing! I don't like to do whitework, but I love how it looks!

Needleworker said...

Thank you for sharing Marion's RSN projects. I have had the opportunity to take a class from Marion in the past. And recently took classes at the Royal School of Needlework. A great place to take classes.

isabelle said...

Very impressive work indeed !