Meet RSN Bristol Certificate Student

10th January, 2020

Karen Newbrook started on the RSN Certificate in September 2017 with a Jacobean Crewelwork design.  Next, she completed Canvas Stitches and more recently, a stunning Goldwork Reindeer.  Karen shares her journey to study with us and her love of needlework.

“Some of my fondest early memories are of the cute little dresses my mum made for my sister and me when we were growing up in York.  She inspired me, from a very early age, to create clothes for my dolls and then for myself, leading to a life-long love of all things fabric and needlework.  Over the years, I’ve done many related courses and projects, but I’ve always enjoyed hand embroidery the most.  There’s something about the steady rhythm of stitching by hand that is so absorbing, enjoyable and therapeutic.

“For many years, my hobbies had to play second fiddle to a career in publishing.  But now that I’m nearing retirement and the RSN course is so flexible, I can attend the RSN’s Bristol satellite.  It gives me the opportunity to really focus on consolidating and broadening my skills in hand embroidery techniques and design.  I can learn from the best Tutors, feel at home in an inviting environment and enjoy the company of like-minded people, who are a true inspiration – pure indulgence for me!

“The flexibility of the course – to be able to work at my own pace and pay on a session-by-session basis – has made all the difference to my being able to make this journey.  Nowadays, it’s easy to fit embroidery into my everyday life, even though I sometimes still have to wear my publishing hat.

“I’ve loved working on all three of my Certificate designs so far.  I’ve learnt such a lot and now feel more confident that I could design and execute other equally pleasing pieces.  The flowing lines, wealth of stitches and quirky motifs for the Jacobean were a joy to explore and there was such satisfaction in seeing those sinuous lines of Japanese thread bringing my Goldwork to life.  But it’s Canvas Stitches that have been the true revelation and my design was inspired by a watercolour painting by Amanda Clark.

“I used to say that Canvas Stitches was the one technique I wasn’t looking forward to and, at times, keeping track of all the colours drove me mad, but it stretched me and showed me how I could break out of the canvas grid and paint with thread to create a design I’m truly proud of – even though it took me the best part of a year to finish!

“The RSN has always been at the pinnacle of excellence in hand embroidery and I feel very privileged to be able to learn from the best.”

If you would like to know more about our Certificate & Diploma Course, please visit our website and book onto one of our forthcoming Open DaysSaturday 1 February and Monday 23 March at Hampton Court Palace; Saturday 28 March at RSN Glasgow and Sunday 17 May at RSN Bristol.  Alternatively, email: [email protected]