Update on Awardees 2021
Royal School of Needlework
I have been studying at the Royal School of Needlework in the second year of the Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, and Textile Art degree. I have gratefully received a bursary award from The Knights of the Round Table. Over summer I spent time working on a sketchbook project called “Things Come Apart” inspired by the book by Todd McLellan. In this project, I found interesting organic and man-made objects, disassembled them in some way, and then created compositions using the various elements. I combined drawing, painting, and collage to compile a library of images that I could use to inform my embroidery work going forward. Sketchbook composition using Mussel Shells found At Porteau Cove, BC Canada The first technical stitch unit that I took part in was Raisedwork Embroidery. I very much enjoyed learning how to create 3D elements such as covered beads, raised shapes, and needlelace that I can incorporate into my embroidery designs going forward. First I worked on a set of samples in order to practice the techniques, and then I began applying what I knew to a design taken from my aforementioned sketchbook. My goal was to translate the original design to stitch including as many raisedwork techniques as possible. This particular design began as cherry tomatoes from my garden in Canada. I cut them in quarters, removing the stems and seeds, and then arranged the elements into an organic/geometric composition. . I was very inspired by the abstract outcome and the use of vibrant colours that took my original subject matter to a whole new level. Sketchbook design based on cherry tomatoes, and the altered design for Raisedwork Samples of Raisedwork techniques, and a detail of my Raisedwork design in stitchIn my Research and Development unit the first term brief was to create an innovative embroidered textile for fashion or interiors. Again, I worked from my summer sketchbook, but this time in a more experimental way using foraged materials from around my house and items scavenged from local thrift shops. I really enjoyed the intuitive way of working that I adopted, choosing key words such as “Alchemy” and “Tesselations” as starting points for my experiments. Unlike the technical stitch unit where specific materials were shipped to me, I found it harder to find quality materials for this unit while working from home in Canada. I really missed having access to the RSN resource room since the combination of my location and the pandemic made it very difficult to source supplies locally. Sampling of ‘Tessellations’ using a monochromatic colour way and seasonal colour trends. Unconventional materials include plastic straws, chenille yarn, leather, plastic mesh vegetable bags, and leather lacing.When I left London to return to Canada after completing my BA1 year, I could never have imagined that, due to the pandemic, I would not be returning to Hampton Court Palace in the foreseeable future. All the materials I had invested in are currently in boxes and stored at the RSN. Because of this, I relied heavily on my bursary money to recreate the most productive studio space I could in my living room in Canada. I almost had to start from scratch and purchasing frames, hoops, threads, fabrics and I did so through retail shops, online stores, and re-sale websites. This required me to pay for shipping and transit into the city to pick items up. I also was able to acquire a small light box and a printer as a substitute for the RSN IT suite that I was unable to access. My my local library had minimal books on embroidery compared to the extensive RSN library so I also had to purchase some print materials such as the RSN Essential Stitch Guide to Stumpwork Embroidery. Any money left over has gone towards my living expenses. As a self funded student I am not certain I would have been able to successfully navigate the first term of the course and be able to keep up with the rest of the students in my class without this bursary. It was difficult enough as it was. Despite the insecurities I have had about my performance in the course while working from abroad, my feedback from formative assessments has been nothing but positive and uplifting. Checking in and gaining feedback from my tutors has been such a valuable motivator as they have been my only link to the course. I am very proud of my commitment to waking up for my 6 hour technical stitch class at 1:30 am and for my Contextual Studies seminars at 4:30am. I made it a priority to show up with my peers and get the most out of the classes through live, online discussions. However, continuing to work this way until the end of the academic year in June does not seem sustainable so I have opted to interrupt my studies at this time and pick up next year in hopes that I will be able to access the studios at Hampton Court Palace and participate in the full RSN experience.
Unfortunately I will not be in UK at all this academic year. I have just submitted my Bursary Report to Susan Kay-Williams at RSN and she has informed me she will be updating you only behalf regarding my situation related to the pandemic.
Sorry to be missing it but best wishes for July. I hope the lunch can go ahead and it is a good time!
Royal School of Needlework
Eliza Tuture BA3
For the past few months I have been working on my Final Major Project where I am exploring the phenomenon of Soviet Nostalgia. As I come from an ex-Soviet country I come in contact with Soviet Nostalgia quite often in the arts and culture. I am researching this through understanding the Soviet apartment housing and how I am translating that into embroidery. Thankfully I have the ability to finish my degree from home, Riga, Latvia. With online teaching I have gained the ability to research my subject up close. The absolute independence and control over my time has been a necessity from 1st year of this degree and I am very happy to have all these circumstances align in a way they did. I know if I have stayed in London I would be living alone through these lockdowns, fully disconnected from society, my family and resources. Working from Latvia I am benefitting from the help that I can get from my family and already established connections and resources. Fo the FMP I have chosen to explore home - to explore my home country, city and even the neighbourhood and the building, to find how that has shaped us as society. As Soviet apartment buildings were built for next generation communists, to take Leninism and communism further, but what meaning does the architecture have now, 30 years after the USSR collapsed, living in a failed ideology. These are my main narratives I am exploring conceptually, embroidery wise I have chosen to further my experimentation with brutal embroidery, embroidering with hardware. I am approaching it as a protest to this preconceived idea of embroidery needing to be beautiful, floral, with that being also sexist and degrading. If brutalist architecture is a distinctive style and a name as well, then I can make a sub-category for brutal embroidery. I have also approached some techniques I despise - Tambour and Goldwork. Tambour being used mainly for haute couture in fashion and Goldwork for the luxury and hierarchy aspect of it. I have always has a problem with Goldwork as it tarnishes - high material and labor costs and it starts to lose value when it is done as there is no way to clean it. Absolute waste. But I have found a supplier who deals synthetic Goldwork purls and I think it is a happy medium, also even if it counts as precious metal embroidery, conceptually it works perfectly with hardware. Aside from FMP, last fall I had my first international embroidery class which was based on my embroidery I did for Raisedwork unit, the Bleeding Heart. After that success I happened to make it into a kit as face to face teaching has been suspended due to Covid. I have been very productive this year and that has reflected in my grades - I have become more creative as I have full control over my time and the whole project, so that has propelled me further and been worth while. I have only received only one grade back and it was for Research and Experimentation unit, I got an 82. It is the first time I have had a grade in 80s for that particular project, so I was really pleased with that. The money has been spent towards course material costs and my devices as Laptop and my Phone as they are under contract for a while. I have been able to order custom frames for my work and to not limit my spending towards materials. During this pandemic I had to move back home due to all the lockdowns and travel bans, I knew I needed to be home. That means I lost my job as well due to the move and haven’t had any luck to find a new one. I am very happy and glad that I have never had to worry about being unable to finish the degree due to financial incapability. Me and my family are very thankful for the financial support you have provided as my mother and partner have lost jobs due to the pandemic. Thank you! What have you got out of the course so far? What are your aims for the future? This far I have no concern about my choice of the program - I am very happy with the speciality that I have chosen and definitely feel like this is the path for me. For my future I see journey going further in education, at some point I would love to continue for Masters degree in Visual Communication and later on I would like to go for PhD as well. I have been offered a position in the high school that I graduated, a position as fibre design teacher for textiles students. I would be really happy to work in education part time and then have my practice as well. I am very excited for my future, I really feel like this degree program has prepared me well.
Lizzie Lowe - 2016
I just thought I would update you about what I am currently doing.
I completed my Masters in menswear design in September 2020. I have now started on a new venture and have just launched my own business.
At the moment I am selling hand embroidered cravats, bow ties, dog bow ties as well as prints and cards. I have plans to launch lots of other products including ties very soon.
I thought the other knights might be interested , as I remember when I came to the lovely dinner which you held when I was studying at the Royal School of Needlework, a few of the knights said they thought my ideas were interesting.
Here is a link to my website and online shop
Look forward to hearing back from you
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Lowe
I am safe and well with my family in Northern Ireland.
I returned to London after New Years and within 3 days flew back home again, 7 weeks in the countryside appealed to me more than being cooped up in a London flat. We have been continuing our studies online, doing what we can until we can go back into the building. It has been challenging but time well spent, hopefully more certainty lies ahead!
DC Christopher Reed
University is somewhat challenging at the moment but I am still enjoying my studies and I am passing the assignments set. Derby University have adapted very well and are still able to deliver lectures and study material online. Not quite the same as being in a lecture room or a library but it allows for the course to continue which is the main thing.
I have one further assignment this year; next year will be the research and dissertation element of the course which will take me out of my comfort zone but I am determined to meet the challenge head on.
I will keep you updated as my studies continue. Thank you once again for your kindness and help.
Detective Constable REED 2976
Counter Terrorism Policing | East Midlands (CTP EM)
City and Guilds London Art School
Daniel Ponde – wood carver
It’s really hard to find a way to thank you by nominating me on this great award! I was very impressed when I have find out that I am the winner of this grant, how my mood changed since that day!!! Sorry being late with my response but I was working everyday in my studio until late evening! Yes you can feel free to use my name there is no problem about! I have seen the video on the web site and I was very Impressed to see ex students having the same support from the Knight of the Round Table! I just wonder at how important your support is. In my case having not been employed for almost one year during this pandemic....that’s why I don’t find my right words to thank you for all this help which just give me not just the chance to realise the stress but also a better focus on my studies and practice!
I will be a bit concerned if I have to attempt for the lunch and if I have to introduce myself in front of the great people like I saw in the video on the website like the other students did! My English it’s not good enough to hold a speech and feel most of the time ashamed about this! I have this feeling probably because I have never had a chance winning something like this or the chance of being around wealthy people! It’s just me ,coming from a very different background and maybe even that’s why I was in need of support! You just let me know , I am a bit curious about!
I would like to thank you once again and looking forward for more information and news about our meeting!
With kind regards, Daniel
Imogen Long – stone carver
Thank you for getting in touch, it was lovely to hear from you.
We have continued with the course and all aspects of it that can be taught online have been brought forward. The focus so far this term has been on modelling in clay and on lettering design and gilding. We are moving on to a drawing project next week (gothic finials!). So the learning hasn't stopped and luckily the practical element has been retained.
Allanah Hay - conservationist
Yes I am in Surrey, we are on reading week this week but as I've not had to travel in, I've invested in a selection of conservation grade materials I can safely use at home. We've been looking at various adhesives and gels, also moved on to plaster and wood theory online and the tutors have assigned some simple practical tasks with wood (and sent us a material pack too). I also have a few items at home that I've picked up over the years, yesterday I managed to remove some old discoloured varnish from a vintage marble lamp stand with a gel I made. Today I'm going to test it against a commercial stripper, as mine is only two ingredients! Though I'm finding It can be a bit like baking really, you can end up with two very different batches from the same recipe, so good to be able to practice at home. I'm also going to practice gluing, fills and colour retouching on some stone samples this week, so keeping as busy as I can!
Thank you also for your kind words. All the best, Alannah
Lara Domeneghetti – wood carver 2018
I am Lara, the ex-post graduate student at City and Guilds of London Art School and one of the recent winners the Knights of the Round Table Award.
I hope that in the midst of this very unusual situation you are well and safe.
I just wanted to take the time to thank you again for the support you provided me with during my studies and after. It helped me to follow my passion and pursue it fully also during this very particular circumstances.
Knowing that there are still people and organisations that try to help young crafts people in their wish to keep a craft alive fills me with hope and keeps me active also during difficult times.
The support you provided me with is still fruitful and I am glad to say that I was able to take on my family's woodcarving business in Italy and am now looking forward to several international collaborations.
Thank you for everything! Kindest regards and all the best, Lara Domeneghetti
Harry Garside – Inner Temple
Rather than working and studying online all the time I’ve been able to be in court every day, Chambers have been very good in that they recognised the best way for me to learn was to get out there and get stuck into some trials!
Kind regards, Harry
Chelsea College of Art
I'm locked down with my brother and sister so I have great company. I've invested my Knights winnings into a new studio that I'm now working out of in London. It's looking to be a very fruitful year for my artistic practice.
Thank you so much for your organisation's generosity, I'm thrilled that you chose me and I'm really looking forward to continuing a working relationship with you all.
All the best,
Royal Academy of Music
Anne Christine O’Reilly
I was not able to make it home for Christmas, sadly - but it felt like the safest decision. My parents and grandparents have all been vaccinated now though, which is a great relief!
We spent this term having singing lessons over Zoom, and I am very much looking forward to being back in the building from Monday. In total now, I will have had half of my opera school training exclusively on Zoom - it is strange and sad - but there are always positives to be found, and I'm so grateful for the chance to be back in person next week.
That is great news about the lunch on the 11th of July! I will be in between contracts at that point (with Garsington Opera ending July 3rd, and th