Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Trestles and Slate Frames – at a Steal!


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A great big early morning Howdy from Kansas! I’m not exactly sure how Wednesday got here already, but I’m glad it did, because I’m excited to share some news with you!

Last year I reviewed this slate frame from Mythic Crafts. Many of you may remember the review – for those who are new to Needle ‘n Thread, who are looking for quality embroidery slate frames, you might check it out! Mark’s frame has some unique features that make it decidedly different – and easier to set up – than most slate frames.

Since then, a lot has happened at Mythic Crafts, not least of which was a relocation from Canada to the UK. Besides that, though, Mark Harris, the craftsman behind Mythic Crafts, has prototyped and developed a multi-functional set of trestles to support slate and other similar frames, as well as engineering the plans for a much-requested table frame clamp.

Today, I want to tell you about two things:

1. How, for a short time, we can acquire Mark’s exquisite slate frames, trestles and other goods for a discounted price; and

2. How we can help establish a manufacturer in the needlework industry so that we – and generations after us – can have access to these beautiful tools for years to come.

Update, 2019: At this point in time, I’m cautioning folks about purchasing from Mythic Crafts. After a very successful crowd-funding campaign in January of 2018, many of the backers have still not received their goods from backing that campaign. I hope that Mythic Crafts is able to fulfill the orders made during the crowdfunding campaign, but until they do, I don’t recommend ordering from the company’s website.

Update, July 2019: Mythic Crafts is out of business, with no explanation to the backers. I have since adjusted my policies on backing and promoting any kind of similar crowdfunding campaign. Like many of you, I am also out the funds I backed the campaign with, and I’m sorry I went to the effort to support the business and told other people about it. I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt, and I believe Mythic Crafts began with the right intentions, but that they over-extended themselves and through a variety of circumstances, couldn’t keep the business running. Some communication would have been nice, but I imagine there’s a whole lot of emotional pain going on there, too.

Slate Frames & Trestles for Embroidery

So, to get himself set up with a industry-level workshop in the UK, earlier this week, Mark launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo, featuring his slate frames, trestles, forthcoming frame clamp, and needle minders.

Unlike many funding campaigns that simply ask for funds, the Indiegogo campaign is based on two things:

1. a “perk” system, where you receive something specific in exchange for your support; and

2. an all-or-nothing scheme, meaning if the funds are raised, then the pledged funds are put to use; if the goal isn’t met, well – that’s the end of our future access to beautiful goods from Mythic Crafts, and the funds are returned to the supporters.

What’s in it for You?

Not that I’m all mercenary and whatnot, but this type of funding campaign is super beneficial for you and me, because the “perks” that are offered are frames and trestles, discounted as they would not normally be.

Slate Frames & Trestles for Embroidery

So it’s a great opportunity to acquire a quality frame (we’re talking heirloom quality, last forever frame), a set of trestles, or one of Mark’s specially designed forthcoming frame clamps, at a much more accessible price.

Incidentally, for those who have been looking for Large slate frames, you’ll find a 34″ frame as one of the perks, too. (I jumped on that one – it’s hard to find large frames.)

And, at the same time, we get the Warm Fuzzies for giving a small business a chance to get established, in order to bring quality goods to the needlework world!

Both, with very little risk, due to the all-or-nothing nature of the campaign.

The Trestles

I was a very happy recipient of one of Mark’s trestle prototypes, and I can’t wait to use them!

The wood is beautiful, of course. The parts are precision constructed. The hardware is solid and easy to use. And the trestles – especially the ones with the rear brace – are sturdy. In fact, if you have the rear brace, on a level, hard floor, you can even get away with not putting the feet on. (Still, I’d use the feet!)

They’re adjustable, so you can work at varying angles and heights, and they support large frames well. If you go for the complete trestle package, you can also opt for small frame supports, which allow you to use the trestles with even small projects.

Are Trestles for You?

I don’t always use trestles. I can only use them when my workroom is taken down to the bare-bones of anything in it, because they have a large footprint. I use them especially when I plan to film stitch videos or when I’m working on something large that has to be in a very large frame, when trestles are the only option for support.

If you have a limited, small workspace, or if you do most of your stitching in a recliner or at a couch, trestles probably aren’t for you.

But if you have a dedicated stitching space, if you are pursuing needlework as a serious hobby or even livelihood, or if you tend to work on Large Projects, then I’d definitely consider trestles! In my Ideal Dream Workspace, I’ll have room for two or more sets, set up, all the time! For teaching, for ongoing larger projects… you can’t beat them!

The Importance of the Small Business

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, as most folks in the needlework world already know this.

Small businesses in our little needlework niche are Really, Really Important. Without small businesses, most of the embroidery and needlework goods that we enjoy – that sustain our work or our hobby, that make it more pleasurable, that bring us joy – would not be available.

That’s why I think it’s important to support, whenever possible, the small business that contributes worthwhile goods to the needlework market.

I think Mark has a solid business plan. You can read his whole story and his whole plan on the Indiegogo campaign.

While you’re at it, don’t miss the opportunity to get in on the perks!

Limited Time & Quantities

Just so you know, the way these types of campaigns work is that they are up only for a limited time. The Mythic Crafts campaign is for one month.

The perks are offered in different tiers, with limited quantities in each tier. For the best deals, look for the 55% off frames. These are Danish oil finished (they’re very nice!), not the glossy urethane finish. And look for the limited quantity perks, too! Some of them are already sold out, but there are still a few good trestle perks and frame clamp perks available.

So, there you have it – your opportunity to help a small business, to acquire some really nice needlework tools at great prices, and all with little risk.

My fingers are crossed that the needlework world will jump on this two-fold opportunity. We need skilled craftspeople in the tool part of the industry, and Mark not only has the woodworking skills – as his frames and trestles prove – but the engineering background to create new, innovative tools that really work and that will last a lifetime.

I’d love to see Mythic Crafts succeed and stick around for generations to come!

Wouldn’t you?


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(25) Comments

    1. Hi, Joanne – the shipping charges showed up after I entered my address but before I hit the final button. Shipping from outside the country on large items isn’t inexpensive, admittedly, but it wasn’t too bad on the frame I pre-ordered.

  1. Dear Mary

    I do hope that Mark succeeds in his business and is able to obtain the funding that he needs to continue such a good quality embroidery product and I hope he is able to establish his business after such a rush move from Canada to the UK, I agree with you Mary that small businesses in the embroidery world are important. Good Luck Mark and thanks Mary for sharing Mark’s story with us.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  2. As a happy user of Mark’s slate frames, I wholeheartedly recommend his products. His version of slate frames is *it* for me. They are so much easier/faster to set up than a traditional slate frame. Oh, and they’re beautiful, too!

    If you’ve ever thought about buying a slate frame this is your chance to acquire, as Mary put it, an heirloom quality slate frame.

    I hope the needlework community is able to support this effort. Besides, I want the trestles I’ve ordered! 😉

  3. I am always happy to support a small business especially one that provides both an excellent product and customer service. I look forward to using Mark’s clamp ( my husband will be glad to get his wood clamp back……) and I am sure I will enjoy stitching with it as much as I enjoy using his slate frames.

  4. Mark is such a nice, sincere and hardworking man.

    His work ethic is outstanding and he really is conscientious about producing
    high quality products.
    I would highly recommend his frames and stands.
    If they take longer to arrive compared to ordering other products for needlework, remember these are all hand made with excellent finishing standards……I have seen them in person.

    Tanja Berlin (Berlin Embroidery Designs)

  5. On his Etsy site, Mark has just a few more left! Mary, I went with an even bigger frame. I want to do a headboard. I hope Mark makes his goal!

  6. Thank you Mary, your timing is perfect as always. A slate frame from Mark was on my birthday wish list, and since my birthday is in February, I’ve just order my first slate frame.


  7. When I was on the site at 6:15 (Eastern time) he was at 105% of his goal. Guess he is going to have to do a lot of work, and no refunds for us. I ordered a simple 18″ frame; that’s big enough for what I do. I remember your review of the frame, and I so wanted one. In a few months, I’ll have on!

  8. I selfishly hope that this campaign raises the funds he needs because I selfishly ordered the frame and clamp I’ve been dying for!

  9. Hi! I cross stitch more than anything… but what do u suggest I get? I do large and small, have plenty of space and surely want to help this man out! Just tell me what I need cuz I dont yet have this type of set up! ty for any help!

    1. Hi, Cher – Well, I’d go for a mid-size – maybe a 22″? – slate frame. It’s a good size for handling “not huge” projects, but not tiny ones, either!

  10. Thanks for the heads up, Mary. I have long coveted these but the price put me off a little, but now I have jumped in and bought one. The biggest problem with such transactions is the shipping costs which just seem to have ballooned in recent times but I am telling myself that this is the price we pay for living where we do – in a nice quiet safe rural town.

  11. I see Mark has reached his goal! Amazing what results you can get from your readers. And that includes me! Thank you so much for giving me a chance to purchase something I have wanted for a long time at a great price!

  12. Hi Mary!
    Love your blog! So appreciate the thorough information. I have a question. I am starting goldwork and I know that I will need a slate frame sometime in the future, but am not there yet. I usually buy for the specific project, not ahead. If I do opt for one of Mark’s frames, what size do you think I should start with? What size is most generally useful?

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

    Sincerely, Debbie Caruso

    1. Hi, Debbie – it really depends on what size projects you normally work. I’d check the inside dimensions of the different frames (the fabric size it can hold) and decide which will work best for you, based on the size of designs you normally work. You can always go a little bigger, because a bigger frame can still work with a smaller project. Hope that helps!

  13. Hello Mary. I know you ordered an item from Mythic Crafts during their big promotion. Have you received any communication from them since that time? I ordered several frames and I haven’ received any updates either. I emailed them a few eeeks ago and had no response. I just emailed them again and, hopefully, he will get back to me this time. I wanted to see if you have experienced any problems either.


    1. Hi, Linda – I was keeping up with progress on the original Indiegogo page, but I haven’t checked it recently. I’ll try to check in and see how things are going as soon as I can.

  14. I am now worried, and suspect I’ll never receive the trestles nor the slate frame table stand I purchased. This is disappointing for me, since using chairs simply hasn’t worked for me (I’m quite tall) and I’m out around $800.

    I should have just bitten the bullet and purchased trestles through the RSN, but this seemed a tried and true small business to support. Ah, well.

    1. There’s still a tiny side of me hoping that they will come through and we won’t all be out our investment. I know many people did receive their goods starting last autumn, but apparently these were all just the small frames. I’m going to try to work through my credit card company to see about getting the charge reversed – that might be something to look into, Tracy.

  15. Hi Mary,
    I too backed Mythic Crafts (£600+) via indigogo – do you know if anyone who didn’t get their items has had their money back?


    1. I heard from one lady who was able to get her money back by going through her credit card company. But that is a rare thing, this far out, and in crowd-funding situations. It doesn’t hurt to try, but I’m not sure how much hope I would pin on it. 🙁

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