One of the things I love about Winterthur is that they let you get upclose and personal with the pieces in the collection. You're allowed to take photographs of articles in the collection and in the museum displays.
This is the original Mary Alsop pocketbook that Joanne Harvey reproduced for the class I took.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
The morning again offered four lectures:
- Judith Tyner's "Geography in Silk and Wool: Embroidered Maps and Globes"--Dr. Tyner is a geographer and cartographer and needleworker so it's not surprising she is fascinated by embroidered maps. It was delightful to get a glimpse into her passion--and she has a book coming out next year on the topic
- Kim Ivey's "Records of Purpose and Pleasure: Quilts and Needlework from the Early South"--Kim is Curator of Textiles and Historic Interiors for Colonial Williamsburg, and her talk mirrored the themes of the Winterthur exhibit with examples from the early South. If you ever have a chance to hear her speak, take it--her programs are always well thought-out and beautifully presented.
- Lynn Hulse's "The Duke of Westminster's 'Umpire in Chief': Gertrude Jekyll and the Embroidered Furnishings for Eaton Hall, Cheshire"--Gertrude Jekyll is more known for her garden design than for her interior design but she did provide that service for those in late Victorian times. Sadly, there were only a few pictures of her contributions in that area.
- Anne Hilker Sack's " . . .To Give it Room Enough to Grow" This lecture focused on Erica Wilson and her life as a needlework teacher and entrepreneur. I was very interested in this, simply because I started seriously embroidering at the time Wilson was providing kits and television shows and books making needlework accessible by using larger scale threads and shortcuts. In my late teens and early twenties, her whimsical designs and bright colors were appealing--I look back on it now and realize that I stitched her designs for fun and Elsa Williams' designs for heirloom quality (at least until Williams retired and sold to JCA). I'm of mixed opinions now on Erica Wilson's impact--a lot of people starting stitching because of her, but then again, she simplified both stitches and techniques so much--it's taken awhile to get over some of the bad habits. Near the end of the lecture, we saw a beautiful whitework piece--and, oh, how I wish I had the directions to embroider that now! I wish she'd had faith her audience could follow her to that level of skill.
After the lectures, we had another lovely lunch--with tables set outside in the sun! Hard to believe that was only a week ago--we had snow in BOTH Carolinas yesterday, not just in the NC mountains--then it was off to our afternoon sessions.
My first session was with Tricia Wilson Nguyen, my sensei of the 17th century. We're going to make this spray of flowers, a casket toy designed to fit in one of the drawers of our caskets. It is tiny and oh, so sweet.
I actually did some stitching in this class. I made one very wonky petal. I've decided to hold off on working on this one until the long Thanksgiving week-end when I will have natural light and the Dazor magnifier available. I am not dwelling on the possibility that my pudgy, arthritic fingers may result in handing this off to Baby Girl to make for me.
After that, it was back to Joanne Harvey for the Mary Alsop pocketbook. It is almost totally stitched in Queen stitches--what isn't Queen is cross over one. And we got to see not only the original pocketbook but others in the Winterthur collection:
Here's the inside of the original. For a brief moment of insanity, I thought of attempting to do the scalloped edge--notice how the stripes are matched from the pocket to the back!--then accepted my limitations and have ignored that inspiration since.
Here's the needle book in another purse.
And another purse
And another . . .
And yet another . . .
And then it was time to leave.
Of course I wanted to stick a needle in every new project the minute I got back to the hotel room, but I didn't have the appropriate scroll bars and I felt the need to iron the linen before starting anything. Yes, I had an iron in the room but I've learned it's unwise to trust hotel irons. So I fondled materials instead.
Besides, Dearly Beloved had made dinner plans for that evening, and I was in a carb coma afterwards--so stitching was probably not a good idea.
We had another couple of days of the Great Escape left--more about that tomorrow.