The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) teaches hand embroidery to the highest standard and is well respected all over the world. It not only upholds the traditions of English embroidery that go back many hundreds of years, but is constantly taking embroidery forward in new and innovative ways. This series of Essential Stitch Guides has been produced in close collaboration with the RSN with the aim of providing a set of definitive works on traditional embroidery techniques. All of the authors were chosen by the RSN and all are graduate apprentices of the Royal School. Goldwork is all about the interplay of colour, texture and light, and it is this quality that is at the heart of Helen McCook's work. The book starts with a historical account of goldwork, then moves on to the materials and equipment required, framing up, how to transfer a design on to fabric and how to start and finish a thread. The main section of the book then covers all of the essential stitches and techniques through clear, step-by-step diagrams and photographs, coupled with beautiful, close-up photographs showing how then can be used in a finished piece. These include couching, bricking, basketweave, cutwork, spangles, s-ing, pearl purl, plate and kid. The book ends with a section in which the techniques described in the previous section are combined to create finished pieces, all beautifully and exquisitely worked by the author.
Helen McCook became a Graduate Apprentice of the Royal School of Needlework in 2003. She went freelance for a year before becoming Head of Textiles and Costume for Bonhams Auction House. Three and a half years later she became Atelier Manager for Hand and Lock. In 2008 Helen became freelance again in order to work on a range of projects including teaching and lecturing for the RSN, designing, making, exhibiting, and consultancy work on valuing, handling and displaying antique textiles. In 2011, Helen was honoured to be part of the RSN team who work on the wedding dress of the Duchess of Cambridge, created by Sarah Burton. Helen's work has been exhibited and is held in private collections worldwide.
* Compact, spiral-bound, easy-to-use lay-flat format * Published in conjunction with the prestigious RSN, whose expertise makes it an indispensable resource for both beginners and professional embroiderers * Inspirational finished works, traditional and contemporary, to show how the stitches can be used