English Precious-Metal Embroidery: A Taste of Tudor
2-Session Weekend Workshop
Saturday, April 4 and 18, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
By Deborah Merrick-Wilson
From medieval through early modern times, English precious-metal embroideries were a large part of the international marketplace and were so highly respected as to be known simply as Opus Anglicanum, or English Work.
This 2-session class introduces students of all ability levels to the techniques and materials use during the reign of the Tudors to adorn furnishings, royal and clerical vestments, and heraldic devices of all kinds.
Students learn proper mounting of ground; easy, no-fail design transfer; chipping over string and felt padding; invisible couching and overstretching of pearl purl; contoured and proud chipping; multiple methods of spangle application; seeding; fabrication of a tiny metal “bug”; and other skills. All techniques are demonstrated prior to students attempting them, and information on how to avoid common pitfalls before they occur is provided.
Included in a class supply kit are 14 different gilt and silver gilt threads; plates, spangles, and beads imported from the goldsmith house that is the purveyor to Queen Elizabeth II; as well as all other materials required for completion of the project. These are applied to a silk ground suited to a variety of end uses.
English precious-metal embroidery is appropriate for all ability levels; it helps, however, to be comfortable manipulating a threaded needle. Experienced embroiderers are encouraged to bring favorite tools, and participants may choose to bring supplemental illumination or magnification tools.
Instructor: Deborah Merrick-Wilson
2 sessions; 7 hours each with lunch break (participants provide their own)
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)