The RSN Offer Grows in Answer to Your Requests!

22nd May, 2020

It has been another busy week for the Education Department as we continue to add to our Online Day and Evening Class offering with very happy students from Europe and North America. Scroll down for ‘hot off the press’ news — you asked for Saturdays! Our Certificate & Diploma and Future Tutors also continue their digital learning at a steady pace.


Day and Evening Classes… even with a bit of RSN history

Sarah de Roussett-Hall’s ‘Bright Rainbow’ Day Class running on 11 June for our USA supporters proved so popular, with a waiting list, that we have added a second class a week later, on June 18 — book now as there are only twelve places available! All Day Classes run from 10am-4pm local time, and include the traditional RSN Tea break for you to meet fellow students from the other side of the world. Emma, from Manchester, who attended Bright Rainbow on 14 May, said: “I cannot stress enough what a fabulous course the embroidery class was yesterday. Sarah is an incredible teacher and it was a wonderful way to make the RSN more accessible… I can’t recommend it enough!!!”

We are thrilled to say that our first Online Evening Class on 3 June sold out within days so watch this space for more to come. If you missed out on a place, please do let us know as we would be very happy to schedule a second outing for the class. We are however now planning our next Evening Class and this time we are tempting you with a trio of Goldwork leaves which will allow the beginner to try some basic Goldwork stitches. The class will be launched in the next few days but here is a sneak preview of the kit!


Did you know… ?  ‘RSN Night School’ history nugget

The RSN first introduced Evening Classes way back in 1897, first launched with a lecture about design in embroidery by Walter Crane, the arts and crafts and aestheticism designer who worked with the RSN for over 20 years. This was attended by over 300 people!

The idea of starting Evening Classes was because the RSN realised that many people were beginning to teach embroidery in schools who were themselves self-taught. So ‘Night School’ was offered as a way to upskill the teachers, recognising that they would not be able to give up time during the day. The students learnt hand embroidery for two evenings a week at Exhibition Road, London, where the RSN was based at that time. For another two evenings they learnt design and on the fifth evening the classrooms were open so that students could continue their stitch practice, what we today refer to as ‘work on own’. This recognised that the students might not have room to stitch at home.

We are not exactly sure when Night School stopped — certainly during the War — but the classes were revived after the move to Princes’ Gate. With the move to Hampton Court Palace in the 1980s Evening Classes were stopped again as there is not a large number of people in the vicinity in the evenings and to abide by the Palace’s security rules and regulations. We are thrilled, however, to now be able to re-introduce them as we move to teaching online and look forward to more of you joining us!


***  Hot Off the Press:  New Online Day Class Launched Today  ***

Our first Online Observational Drawing Day Class, led by RSN Tutor Caroline Homfray, is taking place on Saturday 13 June. Spend a relaxing day with Caroline learning how to draw the flowers you have chosen, in your RSN Sketchbook sent to you prior to the class.

There will be the opportunity to practice with drawing exercises and plenty of hints and tips leading to your final drawings. You will focus on how to observe closely and draw what you see, both in colour and black and white, with some fun warm-up drawing exercises.

Many of our Certificate & Diploma students find these classes extremely beneficial before embarking on a technique which is design based.


RSN Certificate & Diploma in Technical Hand Embroidery

Many of our C&D Students have now experienced Online Teaching from our wonderful RSN Tutors and for those who have not yet done so please do not feel anxious about using technology to help you advance in your technique and to continue the momentum from class.

RSN Diploma student, Sue Ghosh who learns at Hampton Court Palace, has taken some classes with RSN Tutor Lisa Bilby: “Once the lockdown started I was really sad that I would not be able to attend classes at Hampton Court Palace, but was very pleased to find that the RSN had set up one-to-one Online Tuition for C&D students with a Tutor. The system uses Skype which I was not familiar with, but it was really easy to set up and the system has been working really well.

I have a 1/2hr lesson in the morning at which the teacher suggests what to do on my piece and then another 1/2hr lesson in the afternoon where the teacher goes over what I have done since the morning and sets me the homework I need to do for the following lesson (the first session was longer). One of the best systems of Online Tuition is that you can adjust the frequency of lessons to suit your availability and personal teaching requirements. Using Skype you can see and talk to the Tutor and they can see you and the piece you are working on quite clearly.

Having the C&D Online Tuition has been very helpful and I have been so pleased that I have been able to progress with my Goldwork piece because of the invaluable guidance I have received from Lisa. It has been very easy to follow the teaching and I have received many useful suggestions, hints and tips on the problem areas that I have had.

I would highly recommend this to all of my fellow C&D students, as the system was easy to set up, even for someone like myself who is not very computer literate. The teaching has been excellent and very easy to follow and I have definitely benefited from the Tutor giving me help and guidance during the online session.”

If you have any questions regarding C&D Online Teaching please contact the Education Team.



The RSN Education Department has more classes up their sleeves so whether you want to draw flowers, try hand embroidery for the first time or improve your skills whilst at home, there will plenty of choice.

If you have something already part-worked and need a little help then our one-to-one Online Lessons are ideal too.

Looking forward to the Autumn term, we are itching to share with you our brand new monthly Online Sampler Club which will be launching in September and promises to deliver a unique ongoing opportunity to explore hand embroidery under the watchful eye of Tutor Kelley Aldridge.

Happy stitching to you all!