Sonia Lee joined the Future Tutors programme in 2019 and is currently in her second year.  Sonia explains her journey to the RSN and the projects she is working on.

“Over the years I had thought about changing my career path and I always knew I wanted it to be in the creative world.  I had taken a couple of Day Classes at the RSN and it was then that I discovered the Future Tutors Programme.

The Day Classes were absolutely brilliant and the thought of being able to give that experience back to someone else appealed to me.  It took me a few years, but then I finally plucked up the courage to apply.  I was living in Switzerland at the time and had been for many years, but moving back to London, where I grew up, had also been on my mind.

I previously worked as an Executive Assistant and moving to hold a needle everyday has been a big change, but a great one.  I am about half way through the three year programme and so far, we have covered quite a few techniques.  I don’t think I could pick a favourite. I have enjoyed them all and I particularly like seeing how I can adapt them in a different way.

Right now, I am working on several projects – Box Making, Tapestry Shading, Appliqué – and we have just started Stumpwork and Coronation Goldwork.  For my Box module, I am making a jewellery box with red and black silk.  The inspiration for the colours came from a beautiful piece of cream fabric I bought in Singapore which has red and black cranes on it.  This fabric is also incorporated into the box and it is going to have the look of a Chinese lacquered jewellery box.

For Appliqué, we have to paint or dye our background fabric which our design will then go onto.  I sampled some different techniques to paint the fabric and this led me to an abstract design of the shapes that the paint created.  I am excited about this one as it is completely different to working on something from a photo or drawing.  Quite a few of my previous pieces were inspired by photos, which I have taken myself when travelling.

Studying on the Future Tutors programme is an extremely busy time and I would say to anyone who was thinking of applying to be prepared for it to take over your life for the next three years.  It is tough and brilliant all at the same time.”


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