Part of the point of doing a project like this is to spread knowledge and appreciation of embroidery and lace making and other needlework. I’ve mentioned before how Laura, our 2007 summer intern, did her first needlework project because of her association with the jacket project, and how others have been inspired to pick up old projects, start new ones, or learn new styles and techniques.
Han, the videographer who was here over the weekend, has been inspired too. He said a few times how much he enjoyed this assignment, and how much he learned. He said that he has seen and admired embroidery before, and thought he appreciated it. But after about eight hours of filming our volunteers, examining their work, hearing about the stitches and the research behind them, filming Carolyn making the lace, and in the photo here Mark making the spangles for the lace.
I wish I could remember exactly how he phrased it, but you could see how much of an impression this whole project made. He said that he not only appreciated embroidery now, he understood it much better and would look at other examples of embroidery with whole new eyes.
I think that’s just as important, maybe even more so, than communicating with folks who already embroider.
PS. Here Mark has set up his spangle-making kit (he carried the tall stump on his shoulder) in our “snack room”, also known as the Colonial Interpretation Department conference room. They kindly hand it over to us for our weekend embroidery sessions. Mark set up here because the wardrobe office was full of 9 embroiderers, Wendy, Tricia, Carolyn making lace, and me trying hard to stay out of the way.