Glorious Goldwork by Sarah Rakestraw and Susan Hinde of Golden Hinde.
Golden Hinde is a family run business with many years of experience of goldwork, they have incredible knowledge of the technique and this, their first book, is a very comprehensive guide to goldwork.
At the front of the book is an extensive guide to all the goldwork threads/wires that are available. This is particularly valuable as there is such a wide variety of threads/wires for goldwork that it can sometimes be confusing to identify what a particular thread/wire is used for. Also included in this section is information on fabrics and tools.
The next section of the book covers the techniques which form the basis of goldwork such as padding, applying pearl purl, cutwork and couching. It also includes the more detailed and complex techniques, for example, s-ing, plate and Or Nué. This makes it the perfect guide for those wishing to learn goldwork, who are starting from scratch and also those who are already familiar with the technique and looking to further their skills.
Then the book discusses basic embroidery stitches and includes some instructions of how to create them. I think the inclusion of these is so important as many of the basic embroidery stitches form the basis of goldwork but are just worked with different threads.
Included in the next section of the book are the projects which are a good variety of simpler and more complex designs. The projects utilise many of the skills included in the book, making them an excellent way to practice techniques. I think many of these designs would be particularly useful to goldwork beginners to who may not yet feel confident enough to create their own goldwork designs.
The book finishes with a collection of photographs of goldwork worked by Sarah and Susan, several goldwork artists and students of Golden Hinde. They are intended as inspiration and examples of the different designs that can be created with goldwork.
From my own perspective as an embroidery artist, I will find the technique section of the book extremely used to refer to for instructions and inspiration of which techniques to include when I am creating designs. I have been using goldwork in my work for a few years now but there is plenty in the book that I didn’t know or have not yet tried. I also think the guide to threads and wires will be helpful for picking out different threads to diversify the range that I currently use.
The book does focus more on the traditional style of goldwork, that being goldwork worked on a flat fabric. But I do believe that traditional techniques must be mastered before anything experimental can be attempted.
Overall Glorious Goldwork includes clear instructions, beautiful photographs, excellent examples of goldwork designs and is well designed with a clear layout. It is suitable for learning goldwork or as a reference guide for the more experienced.