Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

About a year ago – not long after I’d finished my first RSN course in Crewelwork – I received an email from someone asking me if they could use my design for their own crewelwork piece for their certificate work. I was intrigued, as the writer was a young woman named Camille.

Camille Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

“Good morning, Kathy,

I am a sixteen year old girl, enrolled in the RSN certificate course
in San Francisco with Lucy Barter. I recently completed my gold work
project, which I will e-mail a photo to you. But looking forward to my
Jacobean piece I was wondering if you would consider letting me use
your RSN design? The reason; It is so airy and pretty and the
components are not clustered together, thus you can enjoy each area of
stitching.

Thank you for your consideration and your lovely site,
Camille”

Cowboy Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s Cowboy

I responded:

“Hi Camille,

Of course you may use my design for your project. The only restriction I will put on the use is that you may not reproduce it in any form, all of in part, for sale or distribution. However, I don’t imagine that’s in your immediate plans! You have your hands full right now. One thing to consider is that your tutor may require you to create your own design for the crewelwork part of the course. I know we were required to do that. That’s between you and your teacher, though, and as far as I’m concerned you may use my design with my best wishes and good luck! I’d love to see the finished piece.

I’ll scan it in in the next half an hour and send it to you as a zipped file.

The photo of your goldwork piece just arrived and it’s lovely! I hope I can do as well!
I’m going to do the goldwork component this summer and am really looking forward to it. In a few days I’m off to England to do some preparation work for the course.

I’d love to know more about you and why, at the age of 16, you’re choosing to spend time doing an embroidery course. I thinks it’s wonderful but I know it isn’t the way teenagers usually spend their time. What inspired you to take on such a big challenge at a relatively young age? What are your hopes for your embroidery future? What do you love about embroidery right now? What did you used to hate about embroidery (mounting is my particular hate!) but have learned to live with? What’s your favorite kind of embroidery to do (so far!)? Do you prefer old designs, new designs or ???”

FirstJacobean Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s First Jacobean Piece

I proposed an interview of sorts with the proviso that she make sure it was OK with her parents. Then quite a bit of time passed. Both of us were busy…

Firstsilkshading Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s First Silk Shading

And a week ago the answers to my questions arrived along with photos of her work!

Tell us a little about yourself.

“I live on a cattle ranch in Northern California, and am home schooled. This gives me the time to pursue my interest in embroidery.”

Firstgoldwork Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s First Goldwork

What inspired you to take on such a big challenge at a relatively young age?
“I started embroidering when I was about ten. My interest in gold work embroidery came about because of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When I saw the photo (below) of her cape, my mom and I immediately began researching how we could learn to do the same. We  discovered the Royal School of Needle Work, but were unable to go to England to attend the courses. It was then we found Lucy Barter who lives about four hours from us. We contacted her and arranged a day class of basic gold work. That class inspired me to learn more. I am currently on my second piece in the certificate course.”

Goldworkcert Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s Goldwork Certificate Piece

What are your hopes for your embroidery future?
“My future hopes would be to teach embroidery, do commission work and, as I am a Catholic, I would like to embroider for God’s altar.”

crewel 3 Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s Crewelwork

What do you love about embroidery right now?
“The various methods and materials available allow me to express my artistic abilities in unlimited ways.”

crewel4 Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s Crewelwork – Look at those bullion knots on the pomegranate!

What did you used to hate about embroidery (mounting is my particular hate!) but have learned to live with?
“There is nothing about embroidery that I hate, however my least favorite part of gold work is plunging short threads.”

crewel2 Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s pretty acorns!

What’s your favorite kind of embroidery to do?
“My two favorite types of embroidery are gold work and silk shading.”

MCDesign Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s stitching of Mary Corbet’s design

Do you prefer old designs or new designs?
“I have taken some designs from the Antique Library, ecclesiastical books, and embroidered pieces from Mary Corbet, Trish Burr and Phillipa Turnball. For the most part, modern designs do not appeal to me.”

Camille is an inspiration to all of us and especially to me. Her email arrived exactly when I needed to read about someone so hopeful, so excited and so positive. She loves what’s she’s doing and has a very personal and important reason for learning embroidery. I admire her enormously. She’s willing to share with all of us photos of her work so we can all see the huge progress she’s made. Most importantly, Camille is a warm and understanding young woman.

“I know that you have been feeling a little sad, we all have those kind of days. But I do hope you know that your work is very inspiring, When I went to choose my design for Jacobean yours was the first that I really liked. There were so many others but none of them were appealing to me. So thanks!

I did make the mistake of adding a butterfly onto the design without asking my teacher where I should put it, so I am going to have to do something because it looks awful out there by itself. Maybe a snail right beside the little hill. What do you think?

What do I think? It’s charming!

Crewel1 Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman

Camille’s almost finished crewelwork – I love the butterfly!

Aren’t we all so lucky to be able to connect with one another, to share our hopes and frustrations, knowledge and questions through this amazing thing; the internet? I know I feel blessed every single day – even when I’m frustrated!

11 Responses to “Camille: An Inspirational Young Woman”

  1. coral-seas says:

    Wow, Camille! It is lovely to ‘meet’ you. At sixteen, I knew that I loved neddlework and particularly embroidery. I wish I had known about the RSN or had even imagined that it was possible to make a living through embroidery.

    Thank you for sharing your embroidery with us. You are clearly tallented and dedicated. Good luck with your dream.

  2. Dee says:

    What an adventure this young woman is starting on. She is an inspiration :-)

  3. Yoya says:

    Hi Camille,
    Your work is beautiful! Your perseverance in needlework is an inspiration to many a young girl who might be willing to give this a try. There are so many things one can do with the elementary knowledge of sewing. At your age when girls would rather be wasting time on useless things you are learning important things that can create a future. :-)
    I wish I had known about a place that would teach gold work when I was your age, sewing for the Church is a real blessing and as the saying goes……”the pay is out of this world!”
    Good luck!! :-)

  4. Isabel says:

    Congratulations, Camille on your beautiful pieces, I wish you all the best in achieving your goals, it is an inspiration to hear of a young person who has the talent and inclination to keep the art of embroidery alive into the future.

  5. Kelly says:

    How delightful! How lovely!

  6. Sharon Brodeuse says:

    It’s so nice to “meet” you on Kathy’s blog, Camille! Thank you for sharing your embroidery pieces with us, and telling us of your enjoyment in embroidering, as well as your future goal.

  7. Thank you, Kathy for sharing Camille’s embroidery. I was in San Francisco taking a class when Camille was there too. I loved seeing someone so young taking RSN classes, wish I could have started sooner. She is a lovely young lady and does beautiful work.

  8. RM says:

    Welcome Camille. I was embroidering when I was 16 as well. I learned in the 3rd grade, but blogs had not become a “thing” yet when I was 16. :-)

  9. Ann says:

    What a delightful post. My interest is in the fact that she used somebody elses design for her certificate????

    • Kathy says:

      Hi Ann,

      I asked her about that right away when she wrote requesting to use my design. In fact, I went into teacher mode about telling her instructor..here’s an excerpt from my email giving her permission
      “One thing to consider is that your tutor may require you to create your own design for the crewelwork part of the course. I know we were required to do that. That’s between you and your teacher, though, and as far as I’m concerned you may use my design with my best wished and good luck! I’d love to see the finished piece. ”

      So I guess her teacher said it was OK?

      I just love the way the design looks with the pastel colors she’s used. They are colors I usually gravitate to but in this case i think they’re just wonderful!

      Liebe Grusse,
      Kathy

  10. Patty says:

    Hiya,

    Have you ever done an interview yourself?

    This is what I would ask you:

    What do you love most about embroidery?

    What is your biggest challange?

    What thread do you love best?

    Why do you blog?

    Do you want to exhibit? Is it important to have others see your work?

    Is it more spritial why you want to embroidery and the journey as apposed to the finished piece?

    What are your favorite colors?

    Do you need to design?

    Do you prefer traditional or contempoary?

    Where do you learn?

    Whos embroidery inspires you and whos embroidery has intersted you when you least expected it?

    What are your favorite stitches?

    Have a nice day.

    Patty (New York) currently working in UK

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