Intensive Summer Courses

19th December, 2019

During the summer, we hold Intensive Courses for our Certificate & Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery at Hampton Court Palace.  These courses are held over 12 days structured around tuition, homework and mounting the finished piece.  We spoke to Denise Kristof, from Pasadena in California, who attended our C&D Intensive programme in Hampton Court Palace last year.  Denise is an attorney and started the C&D course in May 2017.

How did you learn of the RSN Certificate & Diploma Intensive course?
During the summer of 1995, between my first and second year of law school, I travelled to the UK with my mother and my son.  One of our visits was to Hampton Court Palace.  In the area, just outside what is now the RSN Gift Shop, there were three ladies embroidering.  We stopped and watched them embroider.  They were so very gracious and their work was so very excitingly beautiful.  I vowed that I would study at the RSN someday.

Where are you now on the C&D student journey?
I have completed all four modules for my Certificate and only have three modules remaining of my Diploma.

What do you find are the benefits of attending the C&D intensive course?

  • Learning new skills at a first rate institution with first rate Tutors
  • Sense of accomplishment
  • Meeting people from all over the world
  • Seeing the world through new lenses

What is your favourite hand embroidery technique?
Goldwork, because it is so impressive!

How was your experience of the course?
My experience with every module has been wonderful!  Each and every Tutor has been professional, knowledgeable, patient and gracious.  The administrative staff at RSN has been wonderfully helpful.  When I study at Hampton Court Palace, I have to pinch myself that I am allowed to spend time in a building with such rich history.

What has been the highlight?
It is difficult to pinpoint just one highlight of the RSN course.  Expanding my designing skills, learning new techniques, perfecting skills are all important and the reason for enrolling on the program.  Studying at Hampton Court Palace is such an indescribable privilege.  But, without question, the people are what make the RSN special.  I have had the honour of studying with almost all the Tutors.  Every one of them has been exemplary, professional, knowledgeable and gracious.  The assessment of my work has been strict and I have not always received the marks that I anticipated.  My assessments have been rigorous and very fair, which I appreciate so that I can improve.

How do you balance the course and homework with work/home life?
I can only study during the Summer Intensive Programme, due to living outside the UK, so I am very appreciative that the RSN offers this programme.  The Intensives allow me to study needlework the same way I do everything else – at full tilt!

Has anything/anyone inspired or surprised you on the C&D course?
When I began studying at the RSN I especially wanted to study Goldwork.  I was reticent to study the three other modules before Goldwork, which is the last technique on the Certificate but was pleasantly surprised with the other techniques.  I would not have studied some of the techniques if they had not been required components, so I am really glad that the RSN required me to stretch my abilities.

Why do you choose to learn hand embroidery from the RSN rather than from another organisation?
Because of their rigorous standards.  The RSN required me to learn components that I would not have entertained otherwise.  I did not want to waste my time stitching what I could have done without their requirements and tutelage.

What makes the RSN special?
Hands down, the things that make the RSN special are the people and the surroundings!  I find myself giggling incessantly when I am there.

This year our Certificate & Diploma Summer Intensive Courses at Hampton Court Palace takes place from: 22 June – 14 August.  To find out more click here.

We also teach the C&D Intensive Courses in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA usually in April and October.

The images below are all examples of Denise’s work, completed during the Summer Intensives.