Carefully worked examples are shown from design to completion in this new book on an old style of embroidery. The young author has studied at the Royal School of Needlework and spent some years working to gain experience with different firms. The clear sections on equipment, materials and the order of work make this a joy and inspiration. The stitches are divided into two sections - couching and cutwork - with a series of clear photographs explaining each stage. There are also helpful hints on handling and positioning threads. Familiar stitches are included in the section on combining techniques. The book has a spiral binding, which makes it lie completely flat for easy reference.-Megonline.co.uk RSN Goldwork and RSN Whitework: Both these books, although covering traditional needle work techniques, cover quite different approaches, with whitework looking very pure and pared down and the goldwork appearing very sumptuous and colourful. Whitework is introduced from its historical roots, but the feeling throughout the book is that, while retaining some of this history in the stitching and processes of working, the movement is into the contemporary period. Many designs have a modern feel to them, and there is some reworking of traditional pieces into up to date designs. The work in Goldwork is much denser, with more variety in the stitches and embellishments. The work looks more traditional, but there are a few pictures towards the end, where techniques are combined and more contemporary pieces showcased. Both books contain a huge selection of stitches and techniques, with an Order of Work given in both for a successful outcome. They are both well illustrated with clear instructions, and would act as both a good introduction and way of moving forward for anyone working in either discipline.-Workshop On The Web Have the 140 years of Royal School of Needlework knowledge and expertise at your fingertips with this new addition to the Essential Stitch Guide range. Goldwork by Helen McCook is an invaluable reference for any stitcher at home whether a beginner or proficient in the technique. An extensive range of effects and stitches in Goldwork are fully explained such as the application of purls and plate, couching effects and Or Nue. There is a thorough introduction to the fabric and threads, framing up the work, getting started and design advice. The book is a vital companion to anyone with a love of Goldwork or the desire to try it for the very first time.-New Stitches Not only is Helen McCook a technically accomplished goldworker, as you might expect of a graduate of the RSN, but she brings a fresh approach to this ancient craft. Helen finds that a 'particularly intriguing facet to the art of metal-thread embroidery is the is the fact that it is an ever changing art form, not only in style of design but also ... the very thread with which you work is made to change. The tarnishing process ... might be said to define in some way goldwork as "the study of elegant decay"'. Certainly, Helen's work is a study in elegance. Part of the team chosen to work on the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress, Helen's meticulous approach is displayed throughout this book.-Stitch
About the Author
Having graduated from University of Central England in 2000 with a BA (Hons) in Printed and Dyed Textiles with Art History, and from the Royal School of Needlework apprenticeship in 2003, Helen went freelance for a year before taking up the post of Head of Textiles and Costume for Bonhams Auction House. Having handled a very exciting record-breaking sale of an 18th century court mantua dress, she decided to leave the post after three and a half years to become Atelier/Production Manager for Hand & Lock in central London, running their fashion and interiors embroidery workrooms, working with clients such as Swarovski, Kate Moss, Topshop, Vintage Topshop, Gucci, Asprey, John Stefanidis, Tom Ford, The Royal Opera House, Burberry, Bamfords, Adidas and Ben de Lisi. Images of garments displaying her work for fashion companies have been used in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Elle Collections and Hello Magazine. Helen went freelance in April 2008 and has been working on a range of projects including teaching, lecturing, designing, making, exhibiting and consultancy work on valuing, handling and displaying antique textiles. She also still teaches and lectures for the Royal school of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace on the Foundation Degree, Certificated courses and day classes and has also taught in San Francisco for the RSN and travels Britain extensively teaching and lecturing to adult education groups such as the Embroiderers Guild and private textile art groups. She also teaches for the National Gallery in Edinburgh and the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. Helen has displayed work in the Kitagawa Gallery in Tokyo, Japan as part of the British/Japanese Council celebration of 150 years trade. Her work has also been exhibited at Alexandra Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Shugborough Hall and Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park. She has also had solo exhibitions at The Old Friary (Lichfield) and The Old High House (Stafford). Her work is in private collections worldwide. Helen had a very productive and exciting year in 2011 which included opening a Glasgow branch of the Royal School of Needlework to teach both day classes and the Certificate and Diploma Courses, being commissioned to design and work three hangings for Hampton Court Palace, designing a set of hassocks and overseeing the work for a prestigious private chapel and having the honour of working as part of the Royal School of Needlework team to embellish the wedding dress and shoes and create the veil for Katherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.