Passion and enthusiasm personified by Elizabeth Almond during the BLACKWORK COURSE swept all who attended along with her. It was a rattling success. The structure of the day was well thought out and the content was illustrated by a plethora of her work displayed for everyone to drool over.
The morning started with a history of blackwork, from its introduction into English fashion by Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’S first wife, through the developing stages to present day practise. Liz then went on to categorise the materials and threads which can be used , which saved a great deal of trial and error on our part by telling us of her own failures and successes. Experience is always better than reading manufacturers’ blurb, which can be sparing with the truth.
Technique and method followed. At this point Liz asked if we were getting bored. Shell shocked more like. A well prepared pack was then given to each member containing patterns and instructions for three works along with threads and materials to make them, including the correct needle! The fun then began as we tentatively selected our nemesis.
Actually it was clearly explained and much easier than first thought, so the room ,after a noisy start dissolved into silence. Liz told us to call out if we needed help, but the genius of the woman was at your side before you even realised you had a problem.
All our work developed differently, and any member of the Parbold Branch could pick out the work belonging to specific individuals, from the “exquisite” to the “well tried”.
A voice from the depth of the kitchen called “Hey, it’s raining!” This was the cry to return to the hum drum present day .
A great deal of effort went into making the day a success, from assisting Pick fords, to tea making and clearing away, and thanks go to all backstage staff.
It truly was a BLACKWORK JOURNEY.
Many thanks to June Talbot for her report and to Karen Hurrell for the photographs.