The Ros Tapestry Lovers

Michelle Obama Views  Ros Tapestry Panel at Farmleigh May 2011

Embroiderers at Bunclody

Alexis Bernstorff has brought together, initiated, trained and developed the skill of about hundred eighty people, mainly women, in the embroidery techniques. Many have been stitching since the very beginning of the Ros Tapestry Project in 1999 with continuous guiding of Alexis. Now in 2013, thirteen panels have been completed in home and public spaces chosen by Alexis, throughout county Wexford and one in Kilkeny. This is an extraordinary and voluntary work maintained during fifteen years. Seated at large, specially designed frames they stitch with woollen thread into a fabric known as Jacobean linen twill. The method of interpretation relies on the study of the cartoon, looking and seeing, analysing the shape and movement, choosing the right shade of thread, considering the type of stitch to be used (long and short, stem stitch, bullion knots, couching and seeding being the ones chiefly used). Stitch size and direction are also very important.

The hours spent stitching fit into the lives of people who farm, nurse, teach and look after families amongst other professions. In their embroidery, thanks to the high qualification of their guide, one sees the magic created when demanding technical skills are applied to a design already full of imagination and charm. Their contribution to the craft skills of the country and to contemporary visual culture is enormous.

Pin It