Friday, March 27, 2015

2015 Classes - Delay

I have been getting several emails a day requesting info on my 2015 classes.

While I had intended to publicize the courses I would be running by now, the fire at Au Ver a Soie made me wait.  It has been prudent to allow everyone to take inventory of what silks in the limited inventory there awaiting twisting, etc. were affected as well as how the dyeing schedule would be impacted and sorted to replace affected orders from their various industrial customers.

We are still in that process at the moment and thanks for the patience!!  Since so many of the threads I use are converted by other manufacturers from Au Ver a Soie threads, there is a little time delay bubble that will work through the system for a long time.

I am thrilled to see how many people are excited to take the Cabinet of Curiosities course!  I will be getting it and others up on the web for registrations as soon as we complete the process and know where supply delays are.  


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Casket Pictures OnlIne

Sometimes, when the masses request enough - new pictures of embroideries end up online and viewable!  Some of our intrepid Casketeers have been trying to get more views of some spectacular embroideries and were successful in having views put in online catalogs.

There is a lovely casket at the Fitzwilliam Museum and only a very small internal picture (which was stunning) was available.  Now there are two dozen pictures!!!  Grab a cup of tea or coffee and loose yourself in this piece.  It is very 'attainable', done in tent stitch and queen stitch on the outside.  But open it up and all the drawers an sides are done in satin stitch embroidery - quite the surprise!

Thank you to the casketeer (R.K) who was knocking on the door for months hoping for a response for more pictures!!

While you are at it - enjoy this casket on their site as well!


Monday, March 23, 2015

If you go to Washington DC to see the Quilt Exhibit - Don't Miss the Mirror!

You MUST visit the National Gallery of Art, west galleries.  In 2012, Linda Kaufman gave the nation her and her late husband's important collection of American furniture and a set of decorative arts to display with it.  This was a monumental gift and forms the entirety of the four galleries devoted to American furniture at the National Gallery.

Linda is a wonderful person and very much enjoys joining decorative arts tours, which is where I met her.  Understanding my love of 17th century embroidery, she took my hand and insisted that I go to DC someday soon to "see her mirror".  Had she not said that, I would have never found it!  Not yet in the collections database, her stumpwork mirror is easy to miss as you wouldn't know where to find it. Yet it is prominently displayed in Gallery G43 on the central first floor corridor on a wall of it's own.

It is an impressive size and a mixture of beaded and needlelace stumpwork.  The outer edge of the mirror frame is not surrounded by lace, but by a faux lace made of beads.  I was excited to see the lion was couched thread of a fancy gimp type that I just had prototyped!  New yummy threads on the way next year.

It was also exciting to see a piece on long term display at a museum in the USA that so many can access on travels.  So next time someone asks you to chaperone a trip of kids to DC - you just might want to jump at the chance.  I am sure those kids want to take a diversion through the National Gallery!  ha ha.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Eye on Elegance - Quilt Exhibition

I had the opportunity over the weekend to visit Washington DC and see the Eye on Elegance Exhibition of Early Quilts of Maryland and Virginia.  There were about 40 quilts on display, fully hanging in the DAR Museum.  You could get very intimate looks at the quilts and the lighting really accented the complex quilting.

While I was unfortunately not one of the lucky ones to make it into the symposium (Yes, I loose out too! My friend got a spot and I didn't due to heavy registration), I did get to talk to many of the participants that day while they were on break such as Elly Sienkiewicz and Barbara Brackman.

The exhibition has a fantastic exhibition website that is quite full of pictures, commentary and multiple videos.  (The book is great too, and while I sat on the runway for hours waiting for clearance to leave - I read several chapters).  They are presenting new research on these often admired Baltimore Albums and mid-coast appliqué quilts.  There will be a few new quilt fabric collections in concert with this exhibition if you have a hankering to make one yourself.

But I really recommend planning to go to visit.  The exhibition is unusual in that it is 11-months long - plenty of time to plan!  It started on October 3rd, 2014 and runs until September 5th, 2015.

But if you can't - spend an hour on the website as the eye candy is quite worth it!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pillow Talk - Historic Deerfield Symposium

If you are around in April, there is an interesting symposium that is part textiles - part context.  Historic Deerfield is having a one-day symposium called Pillow Talk: Discovering Early New England Bed Chambers.

Reproduction Bed Hangings at Historic Deerfield
Their Flint Gallery of Textiles is also having a retrospective on their embroidery and textile holdings as well as there are lovely embroideries on view in the historic houses.  This view is of a reproduction  crewel set of bed hangings which was a project inspired by the Plimoth Jacket.  The work on the hangings is absolutely fantastic, including the hand dying of the fibers!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Schoolgirl Art Exhibit and Talk - Barton-Pell Mansion Museum

The Barton-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx, NY has just opened an exhibit of private embroderies from female academies.  Those of you who have loved Betsy Krieg Salm's work or taken the May Your Hands courses would be especially interested in this exhibit!

It runs from March 1st, 2015 - June 21st, 2015.

There are a few lovely add-on's to the exhibit for those too far away to attend - such as this article by the collectors who are curating the event.

A talk by the Gemmill's will be given on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm.  Registration is required.

Schoolgirl Art


Bronx, NY, January 20, 2015Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (BPMM) will exhibit a unique selection of early 19th-century American schoolgirl embroideries and watercolors from the collection of William and Sally Gemmill starting March 1st. The exhibition, Accomplished Women: Schoolgirl Art from Female Academies in the Early Nineteenth Century, offers a special opportunity for the public to see beautiful and rare works from a major private collection. Twelve pieces in total will be included in the exhibition, among them a mourning embroidery by Abigail Walkerpart of Bartow-Pell’s permanent collection—which will be viewed in a rich new context in the spring show.
William and Sally Gemmill are collectors and independent researchers of American schoolgirl art during the first quarter of the 19th century, focusing primarily on the academies of New England and the mid-Atlantic. They are the authors of a recently published article in Antiques and Fine Arts magazine on their discovery of the Charlestown Academy as the source of several previously unidentified silk embroideries and have been speakers at symposiums at the American Folk Art Museum and at Bates College as part of the Maine Folk Art Trail.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, exclusive female academies for well-to-do young women began to sprout up all over New England. While reading, writing, and arithmetic were all part of the regular curriculum at these schools, a strong emphasis was placed on embroidery, drawing, and other arts, not only as an outlet for artistic expression, but also as material testimony to the young women’s accomplishments and their families’ social standings.

Memorials, family registers, historical scenes, allegories, maps, heraldry, and grisaille compositions based on engravings provided the subject matter for many of the fine pictorial silk embroideries and watercolors made in these schools in the early part of the 19th century. These precious artworks, many of which will be on view for the first time in the spring exhibition, were often placed in handsome gilt frames with eglomise (reverse painting on glass) mats and were an expensive and labor-intensive version of the student art projects that parents proudly display today.

“We are delighted that the Gemmills have agreed to share some of the pieces from their extraordinary collection with Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum,” said Margaret Highland, Education Director and Curator at BPMM. “Our 19th-century Greek Revival historic house is an ideal setting for an exhibition of this nature, and we are looking forward to opening the show to the public this spring.”

Accomplished Women: Schoolgirl Art from Female Academies in the Early Nineteenth Century will be on view from March 1 to June 21, 2015, and is free with museum admission. The museum is open to the public Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Linda Eaton Lecture - Historic Deerfield

Linda Eaton, John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles, Winterthur Museum, Wilmington, Delaware, will present "Patterns of Their Time: Design in Printed Textiles," the final lecture of the 2015 Winter Lecture Series, "Textiles and Fashion in Early America." The 2015 Winter Lecture Series is a part of "Fashioning a Legacy: The 50th Anniversary of the Helen Geier Flynt Textile Collection."  The lecture is free and open to the public.
Front and back of a fragment of indigo-resist, plain weave cotton and flax textile, probably English, 1725-1750.  Historic Deerfield, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh B. Vanderbilt Fund for Curatorial Acquisitions, 2000.23.1