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Beginner's Guide to Goldwork Paperback – September 1, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Euro Reviews:For the basis of this book Ruth Chamberlin uses a sampler (pictured on the front cover) that she made and used as an aid when teaching her students how to master the different embroidery techniques. It now serves the same purpose for the readers of this book. Step-by-step she explains through text and photographs how to master the techniques used for the particular parts of her sampler, most of them worked in gold or silk thread. There is absolutely no need to embroider a full copy of her sampler, you can just learn to make leaves or teardrops or other figures and use them as you wish in your own designs. For these designs as well as for the project of the last chapter she has included templates which you can transfer on transparent paper to get you started. The different designs you'll learn to make include a decorative leaf, a golden diamond, a golden circle, three circles, a decorative lozenge and teardrops. Especially the last one I find quite impressive. The stitches you will learn to master in this book are laid stitch, trellis stitch, satin stitch, long stitch, short stitch, brick stitch and basket stitch. The step-by-step instructions of all these stitches make this book perfect for beginners as well as more experienced embroiderers to fresh up their skills. You will also learn to master couching, padding, using kid and making raised gold.In the last chapter, and to me also the most interesting one, the author guides you through a simple project, perfect for beginners. Two different designs for one project will show you what you have learned to master in this book and it'll be a great motivation to try out more projects once you have managed to complete this project. There are endless possibilities for making your very own projects as you just need a bit of imagination and a pencil to transfer it onto the fabric, choose the stitches you want to use and voila. If you decide to look at it that way I'm sure you'll agree with me that this book has opened up a whole new world of using gold in your embroidery pieces and will offer you endless possibilities.Merseyside Embroiderers Guild:This book would be invaluable to anyone with an interest in the Traditional skills of Embroidery. The author has produced an excellent guide to the use of goldwork in both ancient and modern embroidery designs. It starts with setting up the frame and explains the different kinds of threads, stitches and materials needed to complete professional stitching. The techniques are explained very clearly with diagrams and photographs which are easy to follow. Any reader starting to develop an interest in this ancient form of embroidery would find this paperback book invaluable both as an explanation of techniques and as a guide to design in a more modern form. The illustrations show some beautiful examples of the use of goldwork.New Stitches:...this book is absolutely essential for anyone with an interest in learning how to work ecclesiastical Goldwork. Ruth takes the reader through the basics with information about the various fabrics and threads plus a vital chapter on how to prepare a slate frame. Each of the main stitches are fully explained which are taken from one of Ruth's samplers and components of this are used to explain the individual techniques...It is worth mentioning that only components of the sampler are provided, not the entire design itself, but in an initial practise piece this is all that is required. There is an acorn sprig that is a design in itself that can be completed once you have tackled the stitches preceding it. The book concentrates on the use of Jap threads which is predominately used in ecclesiastic Goldwork so as to keep the embroidery, which is mainly used on copes and stoles, supple and light.Stitch:The title of this book perhaps gives the impression that it's very basic, but it's ideal for both the beginner and the more advanced embroiderer.If you haven't tried goldwork before or lack confidence, Ruth's clear instructions, looking at materials, stitches, how to transfer designs, raise surfaces and more, will be a boon. Techniques are explained in detailed step-by-step photographs illustrating each stage and include beautifully finished pieces that will appeal to all embroiderers. She also shares hints on how to get that perfect finish.West Country Embroiderers:I found this book very interesting and enjoyable to read. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, the colour plates are exciting and made me feel that I must do some goldwork again. It will be a good reference book for anyone to have and I intend to get one to add to my growing library of Search Press books. This practical guide incorporates both embroidery and goldwork techniques, that will appeal to all abilities. Clear, photographed step-by-step guides will take you through every stage from start to finish.-Cross Stitch Collection

About the Author

Ruth Chamberlin studied drawing and dress at Croydon Art School before moving on to the School of Embroidery, London, where she studied ecclesiastical embroidery. After leaving the school, Ruth worked at the Warham Guild in London where she embroidered a cope and mitre for the Archbishop of Cantebury. Ruth now works on her own commissions, and has taught in adult education for over thirty years.

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Product Details

  • Series: Beginner's Guide to
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Search Press (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0855329548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0855329549
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Poller VINE VOICE on February 7, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've waited for this book for more than half a year and it doesn't disappoint. The author's credentials as an embroiderer and teacher are important because the book is meant for the beginner. She covers the materials used (with excellent color photos of them) and then the design which is her sampler for beginners (see cover). She shows how to prepare the fabric in the laced up frame followed by transfering the design by tracing or lightbox method. How to thread the needle and end. Next section describes all the stitches used on her sampler: laidstitch, couching, trellis stitch, padding, and satin stitch. This is followed by doing a leaf with the previous stitches, and then a section on long and short stitch, brick stitch and "turning and passing". Next project is doing a diamond in brick stitch and also a circle. Diamond design in two colors, section on using kid, three circles design, lozenge design, teardrops design, raised gold, basket stitch and finally acorn project done two ways. She mentions her supply sources in her intro but there is no other listing for the materials. I would have liked more information on the gold threads but that can be found in other books. Photos and other illustrations are excellent. Print is good also. The book is meant to be worked through on the various small projects and this will give a good foundation to the subject. Highly recommended for anyone interested in goldwork.
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Format: Paperback
I am new to goldwork. I became interested in goldwork for a living history project. After numerous searches on the topic, I found Benton and Johnson. Producers of some fantastic bullion embroidery. They offered samplers of threads and beginners kits. I figured that I could buy one of the kits and it would help me get started on my project. When I received the kit and opened the directions, I ended up scratching my head. The text assumed I had some experience with embroidery and it had no diagrams; I realized I was in a bit over my head.

What to do?

Previously, I had seen "Beginner's Guide to Goldwork" on another web site and figured I'd check it out.

This book is a real gem (and a life saver). It answered many of my questions and demonstrated not only goldwork, but how it was used with other embroidery techniques to create real works of art. It is a short book, but no space is wasted.

The book's style is very conversational and easy to understand. Some texts for beginners assume a lot about a person's knowledge about a given subject, not so in this book. Everything is explained clearly to help beginner's build their embroidery and goldwork lexicon. It is filled with lavish illustrations and detailed photos of Mrs. Chamberlin's sampler to help readers visualize the techniques employed. She explains patterns, tools, and how to layout your design on the fabric so that your design is in the center and doesn't run off the edge.

I think that if you own one book on the topic of goldwork, this should be your first choice. It is a beautiful little book and I feel that anyone reading it will be able to produce a goldwork piece after reading it.
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Format: Paperback
I have several books on Goldwork in my embroidery collection, but this is by far my favourite. Part of the reason that I will always recommend it is the incredible section on how to mount your work into a slate frame, which unless you have had someone show you how to do it, can be a tricky bit of work. In addition to all of first rate instructions for the actual gold work as well as the silk embroidery stitches used alongside to create the completed pieces, Ms. Chamberlin shows how to actually put the linen into the slate frames, and I found this very helpful indeed. I think that anyone who is seriously interested in historical embroidery would benefit from the book just from the framing section alone.
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Excellently illustrated book providing adequate instructions to enable an experienced needleworker to take up goldwork. The goldwork examples are refreshingly creative combining gold thread with conventional thread. This opens up a lot more applications than plain goldwork which can be a somewhat tedious except for the dedicated. In summary a worthwhile acquisition given the limitations of what can be contained in 80 pages of heavily illustrated text.
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This book provides many examples and styles with full color photos. I did not feel intimidated by the book, and found it easy to understand and work with. ultimately this book became a gift for a friend who fell in love with the book as well!
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This Beginner's Guide to Goldwork is a work of art. Just picking up the book and seeing the detail in the cover design is exciting. No other book is as engaging before you even open it. Amazon provides a "look inside" view of this book but I included some other images above to give you more idea what's here. The first is one of many pages showing in great detail an actual stitcher making actual stitches. She would have to be physically guiding your hand to make it any clearer. The other 3 designs fascinate me: the trunk and branches of the tree are stitched exactly the same. But with the change of color in the fabric, slight variation of color in the gilt threads and modification of additional elements, we see how unique a given pattern can turn out.

Search Press Needlecrafts books are excellent. This is an English publisher who seeks out true experts in each field and provides not just beautifully illustrated and detailed work manuals but books of art. I have a number of Search Press books and I recommend them highly (see the inside back cover for more titles):

Beginner's Guide to Blackwork
Traditional Blackwork Samplers (Needlecrafts Series)
Beginner's Guide to Hardanger

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