Rather a good week!
This week has been rather a good one! It started with a visit to the smoke, to do my lecture for the Society of Antiquaries of London. It was on Tuesday, at Burlington House, on Piccadilly, which has got to be the poshest venue I have lectured at so far! I had agreed to do one of their public lecture series as a thank you for the giving me money under their Janet Arnold Award for the Cook Waistcoat project. It paid for the trip down under to research the original.
The lecture went very well. I got there in plenty of time to get set up, and the technology all worked smoothly. I took my 18C costume and dressed for the occasion, which went down a storm with the audience and the SAL officers who were there. Lots of pictures were taken, including some of me on the stairs. I'll post them when they come through from Renee. The audience enjoyed the lecture, judging by the applause and the interest afterwards. I was mobbed by folks wanting to look closely at the costume and the stuff I had brought. It was great to have such a positive response. Renee recorded it on a webcam, so it should be online soon: I'll post a link as soon as I have it!
Afterwards, I got to join a small group being shown round the building and some of the SAL collection. The group was from the Friends of Kelmscott Manor, so we saw a fascinating set of items about William Morris, including diaries, his calligraphy notebook, and his election papers for the Society. Great fun, and the Library at the Society is to die for! Then I met up with some of the family who had been to the lecture, and we went for afternoon tea at Cafe de Pierre opposite the Ritz. I'm still trying to decide whether "Cafe de Pierre" means "Pete's place" or a French version of the Hard Rock Cafe! But it was an excellent tea.
Chris and I also got to look round some of the stuff in the British Library on the Monday afternoon: drooling over the Lindisfarne Gospels, letters written by Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, the original manuscript of Tallis's Spem in Alium, and loads of other incredible treasures. Well worth a look if you're in London. And on the Wednesday we went to the V&A to see the wedding dress exhibition with my niece Gemma. A great few days!
Then back to reality and work, except it still doesn't really feel like 'work' as such! I've made progress on both the Pond triptych, and on the Map Sampler. The top panel of the triptych is going well. I've got quite a lot of the kingfisher done now, as well as the dragonfly. It's in silk shading using mostly half a strand of silk thread. I also spent some time working on the map sampler wearing the half-boned trial corset I made when I started on my costume. Not the most comfortable thing to do in the world, but I need to get used to working in corsets before the stitching days in the museum! I'm hoping that if I do a little bit most days I can get used to it before Easter Monday.
Pictures below. If you are wondering about the map sampler, yes it is upside down. It's easier to work the top in the frame that way up!
I've got a couple of things coming up. Next weekend I'm doing a workshop on miniature Crewelwork for Sheffield and District Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, then the weekend after the Hull and East Riding Branch (my lot) is joining up with Ryedale branch near Pickering for a workshop day. Guess who's doing the afternoon session?