26th February – Tuesday

Took a trip to London today to meet Katie – an embroidery tutor who has agreed to teach me. I feel that I have reached a point where I need some professional training in advanced techniques. I am self taught and as I am getting deeper into my study I am beginning to realise the amount I do not know. I am a great advocate of autodidactism, I enjoy the process of working things out for myself but I am also aware that there are huge benefits to learning from an expert, especially where you reach a point of competency – you need to have a grasp of technique in order to ask the right questions. This is discussed in Nicola Wood’s thesis ‘Transmitting craft knowledge’.
So I’ve decided to get some training. Katie seems very nice and enthusiastic – we’ve arranged for her and Rosie to come to the archive on my next research trip so they can see the objects and techniques used.
I took a walk along the river, as the weather was unnaturally warm, and had a wander around Tate Britain. I love that gallery but I always get lost!
I found two portraits, one by George Gower of Lady Kytson and one by Marcus Gheeraerts of Captain Thomas Lee (see below), both of which show the sitters wearing Blackwork. I took extensive photographs and began to wonder how I might approach this aspect of my research. Do I just use them as reference or could there be something interesting in trying to recreate the embroideries?

Posted in PhD

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