If you haven’t visited the website of the Royal School of Needlework lately, you should! The RSN is located in London, at Hampton Court. The institution has an interesting and unique history (book review coming up on the subject…), and has been a huge source of influence on the development and continuation of the needle arts in the past hundred years.
The Royal School of Needlework continues to influence and promote needlework today, and one of the best ways that they do this is by making classes available to folks who are not able to put loads of time into learning at the RSN. Sure, they have degree programs and the like, but most stitchers in the world can’t devote years to pursuing a degree or certification in stitchery, textiles and so forth. Stitching, for most us, is not our livelihood, but rather our hobby, with our livelihoods coming from different tracks of life. So the RSN offers day classes for those who wish to get some training in specific types of embroidery. These day classes, focusing on very specific embroidery techniques or projects, extend anywhere from a day to two or three, and they are small enough that the individual stitcher gets good, focused instruction in an area that is of specific interest to the stitcher.
The gorgeous brochure for the RSN day classes (PDF) shows an amazing list of short classes offered this year. Over the last couple years, this list has expanded to include some really enticing titles.
If you happen to be heading to London for anything in the next year, or if you happen to live in the area already, why not consider setting aside a day or two for a class at the RSN? My guess is that the atmosphere alone (Hampton Court and its surrounds, plus a place completely and voraciously devoted to the needle arts!) would make the visit an unforgettable experience.
And if nothing else, you can do what I do – browse the Royal School of Needlework website, read their day classes brochures, and continue to dream of travel! You know, once spring gets here and those daffodils start popping up and the sky goes crystal blue and the sweet breezes of Kansas sweep over the prairies as they come to life, this travel itch will pass.
But in the meantime, I keep adding pennies to my jar and travel dreams to that Great List of Things-Stitchery That I Will Do Someday.
You do have one of those lists, don’t you?