Stumpwork and Goldwork Embroidery by Jane Nicholson is a beautiful book. This hardback is rich and opulent. The layout somehow manages to be spacious whilst still packed with sketches and references to the artist’s source material. Jane Nicholson has studied Turkish, Syrian and Persian tiles as her design source for the book. The book breaks down into four sections with groups of designs. I love that there are suggestions for making the designs up into various items such as mounting work into a box or sewing it into a needle case. The designs also vary in size so you can build confidence and practice techniques before tackling one of the really stunning larger pieces.
Instructions are given and are very clear and well illustrated the author does refer readers to other embroidery books for the basics so I would say this book is definitely aimed at the more experienced embroiderer. The work is very precise and meticulous so would suit the stitcher who enjoys following a pattern to the last detail- but boy would the results be worth it! I have often been tempted to buy goldwork threads to feed my inner magpie but don’t often use them. Here the work is framed by elaborate combinations of these threads, beads and the couching over with coloured silks, to great effect. I also love how little blossoms are formed with beads and did have a little play with this myself. This is certainly a technique I will use again.
At £29.99 this book is not a ‘buy on a whim’ sort of title, but I think if you want to further your skills in stumpwork and goldwork it will certainly be a ‘bought and never regretted’.
I'm sorry to give you two reviews in a row. I think the fact I'm apologising for this probably gives an insight into my current state of mind. Like so many it seems, I am finding the winter blues a particularly deep hue this year. Lets keep our fingers crossed for an early spring and some sunnier more vacuous posts!!