19 January 2012

Elizabeth II : diamond jubilee : classes at the RSN, jubilee design

RSN Diamond Jubilee design: Goldwork version

RSN Diamond Jubilee design: Stumpwork version

The Royal School of Needlework has several classes in 2012 to make a jubilee design, and to make a fabric casket to feature the design.  Here's a quote from their website:

During Diamond Jubilee year 2012 we introduce a celebratory Jubilee design which can be worked in three techniques – stumpwork, goldwork or blackwork. All designs are suitable for beginners onward. Come and work your goldwork design and in August there’s the option to mount your embroidery onto an heirloom Jubilee Casket. Material costs are not included in class fees. Costs range from £20.00 to £45.00 depending on the complexity of design and materials used.

More details can be found on the Royal School of Needlework courses page - click here.   Most of the classes are being offered in the UK, but the goldwork one also has a San Francisco date listed.  So far I can't find a blackwork image or an image of the casket to share/document here.  With embroidery being the focus of the RSN, it's unsurprising that these are using embroidery techniques, rather than the cross-stitch more commonly found in commercial kits and wide-circulation craft magazines; an embroidered commemorative needlework is likely to be rarer, in future, than a cross-stitched one.

Unlike other designs, these are provided in the context of a class, a group activity.  Partly because they are about learning a specific embroidery technique; but I wonder how few (very few, I'd guess) British patriotic samplers were stitched in a communal context, whether a class or an embroidery group?  It may well be that one in a craft/stitching group might be stitching a commemorative piece while others were doing their own individual choices; but how often would you find a group where all were simultaneously engaged on the same British patriotic sampler at the same time?  I'd imagine that would to be very very rare.  The imprimatur of the Royal School of Needlework, and the focus of learning a new technique both skew the acceptability and audience of this class, I suspect.  I've added "classes" as a tag to this blog, but doubt it will get much of a workout...

Although via social media you can see individuals congregating to share common stitching projects, the internet making light of distance.  Via blogs or Facebook or photos uploaded to Flickr, you could see during the royal wedding 'season' that people were sharing their work in the context of being part of a group making a particular design (eg. Jacqui Pearce's Will and Kate sampler from Cross-Stitcher magazine).  You don't have to be physically together to be part of a group, as the internet and social media demonstrate.  It will be interesting to see if these show people in a collective way making the same diamond jubilee designs. 

Outside the narrow field of British patriotic samplers, there are plenty of online examples of people distant from each other collectively working on the same project.  When popular craft bloggers such as Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy release a new design, the blog comments are full of chat as people make their own version; she even offers an online desination for people to share their versions (through a series of Flickr groups).

Please let me know of any links/images I can share specifically related to people working on the same British patriotic design as a group - whether it's everyone working to produce a single final work, or each person working on their own version separately.

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