Discover more about the RSN and find out why we’ve been the international centre of excellence for the Art of Hand Embroidery for more than 150 years in our fascinating live Talks. Easily accessed via Zoom, all our Talks are embellished by captivating images and presentations and are followed by Q&A sessions.

Join us for more fascinating lectures about hand embroidery, craft  and the RSN Collection.

In April RSN Curator, Dr Isabella Rosner, will be back to discuss the history of embroidery and incarceration as documented in her new, small-scale book, Stitching Freedom.

Then in May we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House  as Senior Curator of Decorative Arts Kathryn Jones joins us from Royal Collection Trust to share some of her personal highlights from the tiny objects on display in the House at Windsor Castle. These include a miniature stately eighteenth-century style bed which was made by the Royal School of Needlework.

We conclude this season’s Talks in June as RSN Chief Executive, Dr Susan Kay-Williams discovers how the development of dye colours in the 18th century led to the introduction of a new and exciting hand embroidery technique in Britain – Silk Shading. This will be Susan’s final talk before retiring at the end of August.

If you have missed any of our recent Talks, or would like to watch them again, you can catch up via our Talks on Demand.

 

Please read the important information at the end of this page before booking a Talk. Thank you.

Stitching Freedom

Dr Isabella Rosner, RSN Curator.
Wednesday 24 April 2024. 7pm UK.

For centuries, people have stitched in good times and in bad, finding strength in the needle moving in and out of fabric. In this talk, RSN Curator Dr Isabella Rosner discusses the history of embroidery and incarceration as documented in her new, small-scale book, Stitching Freedom published by Common Threads Press.

Stitching Freedom explores the embroidery made in prisons and mental health hospitals – those who have embroidered to distract, to reflect or to calm. From Mary, Queen of Scots to Lorina Bulwer, Isabella unpicks twelve embroidered histories to discover what can be created when freedom is out of reach.

Image credit: Royal Collection Trust / His Majesty King Charles III 2024

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House: 100th Anniversary

Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts, Royal Collection Trust
Wednesday 15 May 2024. 7pm UK.

On display at Windsor Castle, Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is the largest and most famous dolls’ house in the world. It was built between 1921 and 1924 for Queen Mary, consort of King George V, by one of the most eminent contemporary British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary since the Dolls’ House was first displayed, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts Kathryn Jones joins us to share some of her personal highlights from the tiny objects on display in the Dolls’ House. These include a miniature stately eighteenth-century style bed which was made by the Royal School of Needlework and donated by our founder, Princess Christian (the mother of Princess Marie Louise).

Intended to serve as a true record of life in Edwardian England, the house has running water, electric lights and contains works from over 1,500 of the finest artists, craftspeople and manufacturers of the early 20th century. During her fascinating talk, Kathryn will also provide insight into the process of how the house is conserved for future generations of visitors to enjoy.

Image credit: Royal Collection Trust / His Majesty King Charles III 2024

Development of Dye Colours in the 18th century

Dr Susan Kay-Williams, Wednesday 19 June 2024. 7pm UK.

Please join RSN Chief Executive, Dr Susan Kay-Williams for her final online talk before retiring at the end of August.

In this talk, Susan will discuss how hand embroidery was impacted by the development of dye colours in the 18th century. Find out how companies such as Coats and DMC learned to increase the range of shades of thread they could make and retain the colour-fastness.

This led to the development of silk shading technique in Britain which was then applied to that other developing area of the 18th century, the work of the plant hunters, these two came together in flower embroideries often featuring plants recently brought to England for the first time.

“From here we move to the court and explore the short reign of the court mantua but we end with the beginning of formal attire, though not quite as we know it today, with the introduction of the three-piece suit for gentlemen, not the plain suits of today, but highly embellished ensembles featuring silk and metal threads,” says Susan.

Important Booking Information

Please note that these Talks are live online events and are not available to watch immediately afterwards. If you cannot watch the live event — or if you want to watch again in the future — we do re-release popular talks at a later date On Demand.

Bookings for live RSN Online Talks close at 3pm on the day of the event and are NON-REFUNDABLE. After booking, you will receive your unique Zoom invite by email 24-48 hours before each event (3 hours if booked on the day). The invite should arrive ‘from’ [email protected] – we strongly recommend that you add this address to your ‘Safe Senders’ list to ensure safe receipt.

If you do not receive your invite by the above deadline please first check your ‘junk/spam’ mail folder to ensure it hasn’t been routed there by mistake. If you still do not have the invite, please email [email protected] no later than 30 minutes before the event is due to start. Please include your order reference number.

Each place booking and subsequent Zoom link is unique to ONE customer and ONE device only. If you wish to book multiple places on behalf of additional attendees please provide the name AND email address of any additional attendees in the ‘Additional information’ section of your order at checkout.

All RSN Live Online Talks are scheduled and advertised in UK local time (GMT or BST depending on the time of year). If you are outside of the UK please check your local time, particularly if your location changes to/from Daylight Savings Time on a different schedule to the UK during March/April or October/November. To check and convert times please visit TimeAndDate.com.

All RSN webinars include live Closed Captioning (subtitles). These can be disabled if not required.

If you require additional assistance, please refer to our FAQ page. Thank you.

 

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