I finally got round to using my Living Social voucher for a 3 hour beginners session in Goldwork, ran by the London Embroidery School and it was so much fun!!
I have always loved embroidery and embellishment but always felt there were so many more techniques out there that I wanted to learn, and Goldwork was definitely one of them! I loved how luxurious it looked and it was always something that caught my eye whenever I was looking at costume design.
I dragged my sister and best friend along with me which made it even more enjoyable and here is a quick overview of what we did... (whilst trying to remember it all!)
We started by trimming down some yellow padding to fit within the pre-drawn leaf shape template that was attached on some calico and fixed in an embroidery hoop.
We were then taught how to correctly stitch this into place - using a couple of large stitches to hold it, then smaller ones are added in afterwards.
We were then given some copper coloured thread which we would pull through a piece of wax so that they would stick to one another, and therefore become another padded area in the leaf shape, and again, we would sew this into place while cutting certain areas off so that it would smoothly taper into shape. I found this part a little tricky as I got slightly distracted and couldn't remember what count I was at!... but looking at my photo, I think it looks pretty good!
Then the fun part!! Excuse my terminology as I'm not sure if it's right... but we added in a coiled wire called 'pearle purl' (on the left) to frame the padded shape... then we added 'purl' onto the copper thread area which was the part I wanted to learn about the most! It was much trickier than I expected because of how precise the measurements need to be to fill an area.
We were then introduced to 'bright check' which was like a square version of the purl. It could be used in the same manner to fill an area (like on the right) or tiny pieces could be cut off it so they were more like 'beads' ... I loved this as it was so sparkly and I can imagine just how twinkly it would look on a larger scale.
Now, you're probably thinking, how could all of that have taken 3 hours? (the leaf shape had a length of about 5cms!) ... well believe me, it did, and I was nowhere near finished! The 3 hours actually felt like 10 minutes and all I could see were black blotches for about 10 minutes after we finished because of the long period of concentration!
I am definitely looking into doing the other classes they have... I can see this turning into an addiction! On another note, I have also appreciated the skill more than ever, the patience and finesse required to embroider anything in that technique is just amazing!
Look out for my future blog posts on embroidery as this certainly isn't the last!