Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Stumpwork Mirror Finish

Time to show off the mirror that was worked as an extra project in the Stumpwork Course (also known as Cabinet of Curiosities Part II).  This was a last minute add-on to the course which it made it easier for me to illustrate many of the stitches and techniques being taught.

The pattern and step-by-step directions are in the course (including finishing).  60% of the materials needed to work the piece are included in the four thread kits that are sent during COC Part I and Part II, so students who were in both courses have much of what is needed to work the piece.

It is shown here with the projects that are worked (and included) in the Cabinet of Curiosities Part I course (The beaded basket is a free-instructions project in my Needlework Nibbles section).
I will be showing more up close pictures of it this month, interspersed with pictures of other student's works from the courses.

The Cabinet of Curiosities Part I course is registering now and starts again on September 1st.  I have 300 spots left in my licensing of the historic photographs for this course.  As soon as I finish those spots, I will be taking a pause to re-evaluate the licensing with the twenty groups providing historic pictures and the manufacturing infrastructure (dozens of artisans and companies) to make sure that if we go forward and run the courses for more students, that we can supply the demand.  When I designed the course, I put agreements in place to supply a certain number of students since this is so complicated and requires so many specialized artisans.  But the reality is that many of these gifted and critical artisans have developed their skills over a lifetime of study and practice and are thus closer to retirement than any of us would like to admit.   While it seems like we just started this grand project yesterday, it started in 2009.  I would love to offer the course for years and years to come, but I have to be sure that students who have started have access to the materials they need for their projects as that is a responsibility of mine as a teacher.  So a pause will be taken to evaluate and be sure they are served first and to let the manufacturing infrastructure catch up with the students.  Already one of the small handful of trained gold thread makers has retired and the fire at Au Ver a Soie this year certainly showed us how fragile our textile infrastructure is and can be impacted greatly by events out of our control.  So if you have been thinking of taking the course and keep putting it off, I wanted to let the community know that these spots are available and there will be a pause taken after they are filled.

The Stumpwork course is registering as well now and starts again in November.  Both courses can be taken at the same time or in reverse order, care was taken to make sure they could stand on their own, yet build at the same time.  The Stumpwork course will also have a pause taken after the next 300 spots are filled, for the same reasons.  Each of these courses require dozens of custom manufacturing runs and I went ahead and did double for this course so I could ensure a Stumpwork encore and extra for enrolled students.  I will be taking a pause to work with the manufacturers to make sure that equipment is in place and able to fulfill another encore.

Just yesterday I received a report of a Victorian Era tool that had broke at one of our partners and am anxiously awaiting more news on the work around everyone is trying on a thread I was hoping to introduce to the world through the Frostings Club.  Very frustrating when 1/3 of the run was done already and we might not be able to complete it.

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