About This Blog

My current research obsession is centered around purses and pouches from the European Middle Ages, and the accompanying hardware and passementerie. It is my hope to not only study extant items but also learn via reconstructive experiments; these will be limited for the most part to the textile components, however in the future I hope to explore the production of the metal frames.

16 March 2010

Teaching brick stitch

These days I am only minimally active in the SCA, due in part to the fact that I am studying German longsword on Saturdays (when SCA events usually take place). Also, the fact that I am trying to raise the bar in my own "historical authenticity", something that certain segments of the rather vast SCA population choose to overlook (and I do feel awkward by my lack of clothing/accoutrement that meet this high standard that I'd prefer to achieve). I am, however, very fortunate to have a small group of amazing researchers and artisans in my local group who are a constant inspiration, even though their own times/places of interest is far removed from my own.

So when said small group of people asked me if I'd be interested in teaching a class on brick stitch, with which I've become rather familiar, I of course said that I would. So, I began coming up with some class materials, including a handout, a large-format visual aid, and naturally I brought along a lot of my own work so my 'students' so see some examples up close and personal.

The other thing I did, which—and I hate to seem immodest here—I thought was a rather clever idea, was hand out a student feedback form in the last few minutes, in which the participants good give me comments and criticisms about my class, my teaching method, whatever. But I liked having these little comments to work off of to improve the class whenever I teach it again. And also during the course of teaching, I noticed little things myself, for example an erroneous comment in my handout in which I misinterpreted an example of gobelin stitch for brick stitch.

Although I'm sure many of my readers already have at least a working knowledge of brick stitch, but once I have an updated version of my handout, perhaps I will post it up here (I say "perhaps" because I'm concerned about certain museums' images I've used without permission). Things I'm improving bit by bit include: editing and expanding on some of the historical info, adding a list of relevant books and articles besides the ones I directly cite, and adding some more images of extant pieces. I've already added tutorial graphics (as per one student's request), and added a few more embroidery patterns that they can work from.

Some other comments (which, happily, were all positive) included the wish for more time (and I agree, 1 hour was decent enough for the presentation aspect, but not really for the hands-on portion), and I did overhear one person telling another about how refreshing? it was to attend a needlework class taught by a man. I smiled at that :-)