I've been back a week now from a truly unique experience -- the Embroidered Jacket Tour of England organized by Tricia Nguyen, the designer and moving force behind the recreated Plymouth 17th century jacket. Needless to say, this was a GREAT time. . . and rather overwhelming as well. My fellow travelers included experts on historic costuming, national teachers, designers, and truly expert stitchers. I often felt like the new kid on the block. . . and learned a bunch with just about every conversation.
In fact, there is SO much to report, that it's hard to get started. Over a 10-day period (with a good number of travelers continuing on to an additional 4 days in Scotland) we were privileged to go behind the scenes and see dozens of pieces of 17th century embroidery up close. . . jackets, nightcaps, gloves, and miscellaneous fragments of other pieces. Just seeing these pieces right in front of us. . . and not behind glass. . . would have been a treat in itself. But we were also allowed to take photographs! So I have come home with reams of photos of flowers, leaves, butterflies, worms, birds, lions, leopards, and bunches of other up close design details! If I ever get it all organized, I hope to try to recreate some of the motifs myself.
Since I'm a "cat person," I've always especially wanted to create a lovely lion, like all those on the stumpwork caskets and panels. And I have a nice selection of very close up shots of various 17th century lions to examine.
But here's the rub. Because of strict rules we agreed to in the photographic permission releases, I am unable to post the vast vast majority of of the photos. So I'm not quite sure how exactly this wonderful experience will make it into this blog over the coming weeks. I'm here waiting for inspiration.
In the meantime, I can direct you to a fellow tour participant who has posted a wonderful day by day itinerary on her blog here.
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