Jacobean Crewelwork Assessment and Comments
My Jacobean Piece has been assessed!
I’m finally getting a chance to update you on the assessment of my Jacobean piece – my first piece I completed as part of the RSN Certificate. You have probably guessed, but I’m not yet doing very well at keeping up with the stitching and the blogging at the moment, but hopefully I can finally get myself together to be able to do both!
Overall, I was very happy with the results. There were a few comments I was a little unsure about, but it was more from a ‘next time’ perspective than it was from this particular piece perspective.
What is the Assessment Process?
Something I was a little unsure of, was what exactly ‘happens” when your piece is assessed.
When you submit a piece, you also need to submit a self assessment, workings and some general feedback on your tutors and the RSN in general. I actually found the self assessment quite difficult. It’s easy to see all the things wrong with your work, and what you would have done differently. But you need to ensure you balance that with not drawing the assessor eyes to all your faults! The tutors are actually very good at helping you shape this if you are in doubt as to what to say on this.
When you first start the module, you are also given the mark scheme, along with the brief. In some ways, the mark scheme is more useful than the brief, as it includes more details, and on occasion, more requirements, than what the brief states. So it’s a good idea to pay attention to both these pieces of information as you work your piece.
So, what was the assessment of this piece?
The assessment is broken down into a few components, which I’ll let you in on now!
This is where consideration for covering of design lines, thread wear not being apparent and presenting the work as a clean piece, is assessed.
For this, I scored fifteen out of a possible sixteen marks. I lost some marks for not covering all design lines in ‘one or two areas’. I thought I had covered them all, but a professional’s eyes are very different from an amateurs! Comment was made that the thread wasn’t worn, which to be honest I was a little surprised at, as I was sure on my whipped wheels the thread was worn a little.
Here, the assessors are looking for a design that is in the traditional style of Jacobean, has been placed on the grain, and that your colour and stitch placement is even throughout. With Jacobean, they are also looking for a balanced design, with a good balance between open and stitched areas.
For this section, I achieved twenty-seven marks out of a possible twenty-eight marks.
This was one of the points I wanted to talk to my tutors about. The comments were that the design was sympathetic to the Jacobean style, the colours and stitches used were well balanced, and that there was a good balance of open and stitched areas. The comment I was a little ‘perplexed’ at was that the design could have been ‘more harmonious’, as the heavy top leaf with the squirrel underneath made the design unbalanced. Now they have said that, I can see where they are coming from. But I wasn’t sure what I should have done differently.
Heather said this is where personal opinions come in, and also, you have to get a lot of stitches in the design. So whilst if you were to do this piece without the brief in mind, you might balance it out a little more, with the brief requiring such a large number of stitches to be used, this sometimes can’t be achieved.
This area, along with mounting, was where I was less concerned about my marks. My theory being that improvement, whilst made throughout the piece, will also continue to be made for many years.
Here, they are looking for technically correct stitches, tension consistency, and of course, that large number of stitches to be worked.
For this section, I scored a total of thirty-three out of thirty-six marks. The comments were that I had good tension, and whilst improvement could be seen throughout the piece, some of my outline stitches were a little ‘nibbled’.
Another comment I wanted to talk to my tutors about, was the comment that my shading, whilst good in some areas (and again, improvement seen), on the main stem there wasn’t any shading. Probably because I didn’t attempt to shade it! In my eyes, the unshaded, un-realistic nature of the main stem, was part of the design! Again, Heather said it was nothing to worry about, and was subjective. So this is the only part of the assessment I’m a little disappointed in. My colour drawings also showed it as being blocky, so part of the overall design. I’m not particularly fussed about it, it is all part of the process!
Here is where it gets quite particular! And to be honest, after all the problems I had mounting it, with the board warping, I certainly got a much better result for this than I thought I would.
In this section, they are looking for neat, crisp corners, well stretched, with no puckering, no pin marks on either the linen or the sateen, and for no stitches to be seen.
In this section, I scored twenty-five out of a possible twenty-eight marks.
The comments were that it wasn’t quite on the grain (something Heather struggled to see and get right), that some pin pricks were visible, and also, that some of my slip stitches weren’t pulled tight enough. Nothing about the board warping! Whether this is because I put it as a comment on my self assessment or not I’ll never know.
To save you the maths, I scored a total of one hundred out of a possible one-hundred and eight. Something I am very happy with!
The closing remarks said they liked my squirrel as he added interest (I quite like him too!), and that I ‘am a careful embroiderer who enjoyed my first Certificate embroidery’. Which I thought was a lovely thing to say!
The progress of this piece
If you are interested in seeing this piece go from ‘nothing’ to ‘something’, you can click here to be taken to the page with all the posts I’ve written about my first RSN piece, and the progress, ups and downs of it all!
For this piece, the brief says you have to use a minimum of eighteen stitches – which is a lot for a piece which is to be about the size of an A4 piece of paper!
So I thought I would show you, in pictures, which stitches I used throughout the piece.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little summary of what the assessors thought of my first piece. It is something I was both slightly scared about, but also very eager to see what they said. This is the first time I’ve ever had a professional seriously critique my work. This is all a learning experience, and we only learn by things being picked up on how we can improve. I’m not holding such high hopes for the canvaswork piece, which I’m working hard to get submitted this term (which finishes this week!). I’ll be interested in their comments, as this is a technique I really struggled to come to grips with. And the castle was quite the problem! I eventually had to make a decision to just do no more, otherwise I was at risk of never submitting it!
Would you like to know more?
If you are interested in the RSN Certificate, and my experience with it, I’m more than happy to ‘talk’ to you about it. So please do get in touch either by leaving a comment on this or any other post, or by using the contact form to send me an email. I’m certainly very much an eager beaver at this point, and am more than happy to share with you my experiences and thoughts.