Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I am so happy to post these pictures today to celebrate two caskets which were finished by students.  I am going to take several blogs to show the pictures in detail as well as some stories and insights by both of the casket makers.

But today it is all about celebration!  There are many students who have wonderful stories they are working on, designs they are coloring, stitching started and some even finished but not mounted yet.  So it is excited amongst all this wonderful progress to see two pieces finished and displayed.  It is especially great when you realize that the routes to a casket were down two very different paths (but equally encouraged in class).

Janice Gail chose a traditional design idea with the five senses around the sides and Abraham and
Hagar on the top.  She rendered them in exquisite stumpwork detailing, working over 4000 hours on the embroidery.  She worked mostly with the threads in the course kits and bought a double casket to apply her outstanding work.  I can't wait to share more pictures tomorrow as well as the story behind this traditional design and how it represents members of her special family.

Five senses double casket in stumpwork by Janice Gail

Flat Top Casket by Edith and John Brewer,
Design adapted from Tempting Tangles Designs
Edith and John Brewer took a different path to a wonderful piece.  John decided to make the casket for his wife and went as far as making her an oak carrying case based on the originals we viewed in class.  They chose a flat top model and designed the interior as they wanted.  A true joint project between the two of them!  Edith has planned to make more than one casket and John is planning to oblige so she decided to use a counted work pattern she had see on Tempting Tangles Designs and so she purchased it and adapted it for this project.

I love these two pieces because they show the range - counted from an adapted pattern to original stumpwork and a purchased casket to a lovingly designed and fabricated piece by a spouse.  This is exactly why the Cabinet of Curiosities course is so "complicated" and also so difficult to explain when prospective students look at it.  The course teaches you, enables you and allows you the flexibility to make your dream.  It is designed to be respectful to your budget for such a large project as well as where you are in your comfort with different stitches.

What I find interesting, is that there is a handful of students who are doing both counted and stumpwork caskets or mirror frames.  Clearly they have decided to feed multiple parts of their soul with their work.

I hope you will join me for the next week in looking at the details and congratulating these accomplished stitchers (and makers) in the comments!



  1. Amazing achievements, congratulations to Janice, Edith and John! Having seen some of the materials available for use during the course, it's so wonderful to see these unique creations from your students, with the embroidery and pieces in place. Very much looking forward to the next week of blog posts about these.