Spotlight on Future Tutor Graduate

23rd March, 2018

Meet Amy Burt who  graduated from the RSN Future Tutors programme in 2017 and read about her love for hand embroidery, the Future Tutors course and what she has done since graduating.

Many of you may already be familiar with Amy’s beautiful work, especially Felipe the Flamingo which featured on the cover of the Friends Summer 2016 Newsletter! Taking inspiration from her flamingo, Amy will also be teaching the ‘Tour & Taster’ classes during our next ‘Animals in Embroidery’ exhibition, which opens on 18 April.

Q. When did you first start stitching and how did you learn about the FT programme?
I first started stitching when I was 5 years old, when I visited my Granny’s house and we had ‘Sewing Days’ together.  She gave me a piece of purple Aida fabric and taught me all of the basic stitches.  From there I learnt to knit a little jumper for my teddy and clothes for my Barbie.  I did Textiles GCSE at school and when I was 18, I worked for John Lewis in the Haberdashery/Dress Fabrics department.  Years later, when I was living in Berlin, my sister had her first baby and I made her a wall hanging and went back to what I had loved as a child…sewing by hand.

In Berlin, I started an internship with a lady who produced leather accessories and I then worked for a restoration company, working on hand embroidered silk wall paper which was part of a castle reconstruction project north of Berlin and it was at that time when I decided I wanted to do this for a living.

My sister-in-law’s parents showed me a TV programme ‘Fabric of Britain’ which featured the RSN at Hampton Court Palace, and introduced me to the RSN – it was like a lightbulb moment!  I did some research, applied for the Future Tutors programme and was accepted to start in September 2015.

Q. What do you enjoy about working at the RSN?
I love being around so many expert fellow Tutors; whether they have been teaching for several years or only for a couple of years, they share their knowledge which is fantastic!  The history of the School is extremely inspiring and I also love the students.  I’m currently teaching the Degree students, C&D and Day Classes, so I teach a lovely mix of people who all have their various reasons and goals for studying at the RSN.

Q. Tell us about key RSN projects you worked on during your studies?
During my Future Tutor studies, I worked on wonderful projects:  ‘Magna Carta (An Embroidery)’, designed by Cornelia Parker; the Nicholas Oakwell Couture ostrich feather gown for the GREAT Britain Campaign, modelled by supermodel Erin O’Connor and worn by Cheryl at the UK X Factor Final 2015; the ‘Nude Series’ for NEO Pop Artist Philip Colbert; the ‘Whitewalker’ for HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Q. What is your biggest achievement as an RSN Tutor?
It’s inspiring to see the students come away from a class happy and wanting to come back to learn more.

Q. What inspires you about being a teacher of hand embroidery?
When students come in to the classroom, they do not expect to see someone like me teaching, they have a preconception of what their embroidery teacher is going to be like.  This gives me drive and I hope that I make the students feel relaxed, as I’m not intimidating.  I’ve become really friendly with some of my students and we stay in contact, they send me pictures of their completed work and I love that!  What more could I ask for than to know that I have given them the same passion that I have for hand embroidery!

For more details on how to apply for the Future Tutors course click here.  The application deadline is 24 March.