Before I became a freelancer I worked as editorial secretary and author in Mainz. I startet my embroidery education in 2002 at the Frankfurt “International School for Textile Arts”. Before that time I had not a clue about the unbelievable amount of techniques and materials that you can use in free embroidery. All I knew was Cross Stitch, Hardanger and some german “Schwalm Embroidery” with drawn thread work. And the only threads I knew were perle and twist, all just in plain colours. But in spite of this little knowledge about embroidery, there was one thing I already knew for sure since my early days : that you can find a lot of joy and peace in doing embroidery.
So I was fascinated about the rich variety of embroidery techniques that were introduced to me during my education in Frankfurt. My german tutor, Bärbel I. Zimber, had been educated at the „Royal School of Needlework” in London and brought all that precious knowledge to her german students. She introduced lots of traditional english embroideries to us, each of them to be practised in half-year-projects. These were on the syllabus: Free and counted thread embroidery on canvas, Jacobean Crewel Embroidery, Goldwork, Silk Ribbon Embroidery, Needle Lace, Needle Weaving, Pulled Work, Cut Work, Stumpwork, Blackwork, Appliqué, Fine White Work and Posamentry (Tassels, Boxes, Cushion).
Additional educations at that time:
Angelika Brüssel-Bruns, Wiesbaden: Felting
Christina Orth, Düsseldorf: French Haute Couture Embroidery with beads, sequins, appliqué and metall thread emboidery
Shikha Chireux, Paris: Indian Haute Couture Embroidery with the hook and shisha embroidery
Adiviye Beyhan, Konya: Turkish metall thread embroidery (Marasch Ischi)
Ayla Sentürk, Konya: Turkish metall thread embroidery (Tel kιrma), Türk Ischi und Hesap Ischi
Pamela Watts, Great Missenden: Free machine embroidery (City & Guilds, Level 1)
2008 – 2011:
Janet Edmonds, Great Missenden
City & Guilds Certificate (Level 3) „Design and Embroidery“
2011 – 2014
Janet Edmonds, Great Missenden
City & Guilds Diploma „Design and Embroidery“
The free, mostly english embroidery techniques have always been my favourites. Because – instead of sticking to roules and counting threads – you can experiment and play the “what if”-game with techniques, materials and ideas. In this craft (nearly) nothing is forbidden and there is no right and no wrong within free embroidery.
I’m still very curious and like to attend courses round about these focal points:
Spinning and Dyeing (also with natural dyes from plants) – so I’m able to use unusual threads in my embroideries.
Felting, Patchwork, Mixed Media – because the basic materials are most important for interesting embroidery projects.
Drawing, Kalligraphie, Bookbinding – Those related crafts are very useful when doing designwork for City & Guilds-Courses. Especially the latter, the bookbinding takes my interest more and more. There is still so much to be discovered …
My passion for England has grown from year to year and is still doing so. After gaining my City and Guilds-Certificat in Design and Embroidery I did the City and Guilds Diploma, again at Missenden Abbey and again with my Tutor Janet Edmonds.
What I learned from her about Design is: Designing can be learned! It’s not reserved for the skilled and talented, but for the patient ones! You just have to take long walks.
Design work is like walking along a river, not like climbing up a hill. There are no abbreviations, quite the contrary – it is a winding way through a wide valley. If you are not in a hurry, you will love to go that way and you will be happy to discover it yourself: designing can be learned!