It was my good fortune to spend the weekend in 12 hours of private lessons at the Wiliamsburg School of Needlework, a vocational training school for the linen industry based on the European model. I love the school's philosophy:
"Old World Skills requires Old World Time".
Ever since I acquired "The Book Of Fine Linen" by Francoise de Bonneville, I have wanted to master this art of embellishing fine fabrics. In class we used a lighted magnifying lamp, 5x power, to accomplish the exquisite details of fine stitchery on the linen sampler. To be quite honest, this fineness of hand eye coordination under the microscope did not come so naturally to me, and even threading the needle with the embroidery floss was challenging. I can understand why it was explained that any new skill requires approximately 3 months to master. Certainly it will take many hours of practice to complete the samplers from class, but I've got my writing desktop cleared to make space and time for practicing an old world skill. And while I may never master this embroidery technique, I am sure to sharpen the eye as 5x is a powerful and magnificent way to see the details. In the meantime, something else I noticed under the magnifying glass is that it's time for a manicure! If you would like to know more about my experience at the Williamsburg School of Needlework, please contact me privately.