Royal School of Needlework
Study Abroad is an integral part of the NC State University education model. At the College of Design, Study Abroad is a required element to the curriculum and is viewed as an invaluable extension of cultural, personal, social, and academic growth for our students. Recently, Assistant Professor of Art + Design Katherine Diuguid embarked on the inaugural Summer in London: Stitching a Cultural Identity Study Abroad program. This program was developed by Diuguid who used the influence of personal travels and experience over the past decade to prepare this student opportunity, which partners with the Royal School of Needlework in historic Hampton Court Palace, south of London. This five-week trip will provide students a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the history, culture, and techniques of embroidery through museums, classes, guided tours, and a myriad of field trips.
As part of the program, students will be submitting a personal reflection, stories, reviews, and quick updates from their daily excursions. We will be featuring these with our first, from Ashley Outhouse who is pursuing a degree in Fashion and Textiles Managment with a concentration in Brand Management and Marketing, with a minor in Business Administration. Outhouse reflects on the Royal School of Needlework.
The Royal School of Needlework (RSN) is “the international center of excellence for the art of hand embroidery.” The RSN was founded in 1872 by Lady Victoria Welby with goals to restore historic textiles and to bring pieces back to life. The RSN is located at Hampton Court Palace in West London and offers courses for beginner and advanced students. All classes are small and taught by tutors who have years of experience working with technical embroidery.
The RSN offers four different programs:
- Day classes
- Certificate and Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery
- BA Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Arts
- RSN Future Tutors Programme
The UK: Stitching a Cultural Identity study abroad offers students the opportunity to learn crewelwork and goldwork while at the Royal School of Needlework. Each technique is taught in two-week increments, for a total of four weeks at the RSN. We will learn how to complete from start, an embroidery project by framing, completing samples, and designing motifs. We will also be combining both techniques in order to complete a final motif that will show how much we have learned from the beginning of the course.
At left is a picture of part of the classroom that we will be working in. The lighting in the room is just perfect for stitching. Most of our time will be spent in these seats working on our embroidery skills.
Pictured below, are a few of the many different wool skeins available for students to use in their works. Choosing colors can be difficult when there are so many options to choose from. We were advised to select colors with similar hue in order to complete shading pieces. We were also allowed to include a few that complemented each other and a contrasting color as well.