One of the most common uni challenges is finding that social life and school work balance. Week 8 was not my time to shine. Given that Stitch starts on Monday at 9 A.m. (bright and early!). And I am an anemic, underweight girl who’s medication comes with a side effect of tiredness-so you can see where this is going-I was very much unfortunately not awake when I walked in. I also went out on the Sunday night prior to this class. (Once again, ground breaking and shocking considering my low energy levels and the fact that I rarely leave my flat past 7 P.M.) But the reason I went out was very very exciting!
Due to COVID-19, everything has been turned upside down. So now instead of waking up on a Monday morning and making my way down to the textiles studio for 9 A.M., I am instead in my bed preparing for a virtual class at 10 A.M.
After our initial embroidery class where we practiced our stitches, and got to handle archival pieces I felt inspired to carry on with my work and explore new types of stitch. You can check out the week one archival pieces which inspired these pieces here!
When I’m not doing embroidery, I work part-time in the beautiful vintage store, Herman Brown! Inspired by my recent trip to the Centre for Textiles Conservation at Glasgow University, learning about the various ways that are gone about to protect historical garments and textile samples reminded me of things that my job has taught me. Working in vintage, I have learned the importance of dusting as well as careful cleaning to keep the clothes protected. These are all things that were very relevant to how the textiles were stored at Centre for Textiles Conservation.
I am very grateful that I got to ask Anna, the owner of the shop and my boss, what her top tips would be for storing my embroidery and textiles samples. As she has been in the vintage business for many years, (Herman Brown has been open since 1983!) I knew she would have good advice on how I could protect my own work. Here are her four top tips:
The initial piece which inspired my further research from the NDS collection was actually samples created to recreate the both the textures and visual elements in a larger scale. What stood out to me about these samples in particular was the fact they were created by prisoners. A lot of my own personal research has been into embroidery and mental health, as well as Lorina Bulwer who incarcerated in what was a called a lunatic asylum at the time. Therefor I was very interested in the concept as embroidery as a part of the rehabilitation process for the incarcerated.
Rather than spending £10 print credit & waste a whole lot of trees, I thought it would be better to opt for displaying the photographs I took digitally from our very first class. This was the first time that I was able to handle archival pieces.