After thinking about it for a while, I realized I could write this review in one line:
“If you are interested in gold work at all, Goldwork master class by Alison Cole is the definitive gold work book you must own. “
In fact, I think it’s such an important book for anyone who wants to learn gold work and strive for great gold work I decided to store it. This gives US readers the opportunity to purchase the book immediately. Alison publishes her own books so they are not available from other book sources. You can order them from her or from people who order them from her. So more on that at the end of today’s review!
I read through Goldwork master class three times and I went back and read more sections about it.
It is the book that prevented me from moving through the stack on my side table! Lately, when I have time to book, I pick this book up again. I have gold in my head …
Understand that it is a huge Book as far as the content goes. It comprises almost 200 pages and these pages contain everything you want to know about gold embroidery and how it works.
The table of contents is four pages long!
In addition to the thoroughness of the book, the layout is both interesting and logical. The presentation of the content is easy to follow and therefore easy to record.
The book begins with an introduction that explains the background of the book and how and why it was created.
Alison Cole is one of the world’s leading – if not the primarily – goldwork experts, but it is very accessible and easy to read. She doesn’t make things more complicated and her writing style is professional, but delightful.
Then we move on to a short history of gold processing – nothing too difficult, but it covers all relevant points in the development of embroidery with gold threads.
We also get a little more historical content later in the book.
Then the basic requirements – fabric, tools, threads, materials. This is a relatively short section, as each type of gold thread is covered in its own categories later in the book.
Here you can also learn more about frames, frames, transferring designs and setting up Goldwork projects.
Now we’re going to start with gold embroidery techniques right from the start.
Therefore, this first section on techniques focuses on upholstery, since most gold embroidery is done through some kind of upholstery.
Each technique section in the book is presented more or less the same way.
We get a photo of a sampler that covers the techniques in this section (you can see the padding sampler in the photo above) …
… And then we’ll be guided through every aspect of this technique, learn how to do it, why, and fix the difficulties you might encounter.
The instructions in the book are offered through photos, diagrams and text. It is a book you need read, primarily. While you can rely on diagrams and photos in some areas to really understand the techniques, read what Alison tells her students in these sections.
Here, too, it is easy to read and very accessible.
At the end of each section you will find another image of the sampler with the key on the opposite side, indicating which technique, which threads, etc. have been used for each element in the sampler.
In this way you have an excellent resource at every step to look at the finished technology and answer the question: “How was that done?”
While this may not seem so important when discussing upholstery (although excellent groundwork is essential for an excellent result), when you look at individual goldworking techniques, you can see how this approach works:
For example, here is the sampler shown at the beginning of the section on how to lay gold threads …
… followed by thorough teaching content …
… And finished with sampler and key.
You can examine the couch techniques, possibly find a specific finished look that interests you, and then refer to the key to see what techniques and materials are used to achieve that look.
You can then go through the course content again to see how you can achieve that particular result.
However, the samplers are really the basis of the “master class” concept. If you mimic what Alison did and create a sampler for all the techniques she deals with, by the end of the book you’ll master goldwork – or at least have the beginnings of mastery under your command.
Now that we know how the book is structured, let’s look at the techniques it covers.
After lying down we get Or Nué, a special way of lying down with colored threads to “paint” a picture over gold.
This is followed by other couched threads such as twists, check threads, etc.
From here we continue to mother-of-pearl and plate, these hard, massive metal threads, which are laid in a special way.
Then we look at purls, which are feather-like metal threads that are usually cut and sewn on like a kind of flexible pearl.
This is followed by a section on other traditional materials used in gold work, such as: B. children’s leather, pearls, sequins and sequins, pressed metal molds, etc.
There is a little break here from certain materials and the techniques with which they were embroidered, while we take a look at some historical embroidery in which gold work played a dominant role.
First, there is a section on the Opus Anglicanum or English work, which deals with silk embroidery (mostly in split stitches) and certain methods of gold work. In this section there is a practice piece and lots of instructions.
Below is a section on Elizabethan & Stuart Goldwork’s embroidery and the techniques common in those eras.
Here you will find numerous step-by-step photo instructions for surface embroidery stitches that were usually worked with gold threads in these epochs.
The sampler for this section is really pretty!
Then there’s a whole section about fillings made with gold thread and combined techniques.
There’s a huge sampler associated with this section – it’s fabulous!
Next, you’ll find a section on other creative materials that can be used in contemporary gold work. There are many ideas here to help you broaden your view of embroidery!
Next is a section that is more inspiring than educational (though you’ll learn a lot from the examples), in which we see the combination of goldwork and other embroidery techniques. There is a gallery here with Alison’s work and the work of others.
Towards the end of the book there is a section on ceremonial gold work with history, thread types and techniques …
… and finally a section on other goodies related to gold work that contains information about laces, gallons, decorations and the like.
This is the final book on gold work in all its aspects. It is the ideal reference and textbook for anyone looking to learn gold or to progress in their skills and abilities.
As for advantages and disadvantages, everything is advantages and disadvantages! Perhaps you could call the price a disadvantage as it is not a cheap book. However, the book is self-published, which is an enormous investment for Alison. It’s done very professionally. It is a beautiful book. And simply put, books like this are not cheap if you do it yourself.
Where to find it
because Goldwork master class is self-published and only available through Alison Cole directly or through handicrafts that have it in stock.
I currently have a limited number of copies in stock, and You can find them here. If there is a demand, I will most likely have more in stock. The price of the book is $ 59 includes priority shipping in the USA.
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