Inspirational Interview : Tracy A. Franklin

Our very first interview in the series Inspirational Interviews is with Tracy A. Franklin. I had the wonderful good fortune to spend some time in her studio with her in October 2010. You can read about it here, in a post aptly titled “Fowlers Yard & Tracy Franklin – Inspirational”.

Tracy A. Franklin is a freelance specialist embroiderer working in her studio in Fowlers Yard, Durham City where she teaches and works on commissions.

Originally trained at the Royal School of Needlework in 1991, she  continued to work at the RSN for a further seven years as a teacher and in the RSN Studio before becoming Apprentice Coordinator in 1997. Since leaving the RSN in 2001, Tracy has written two books, New Ideas in Goldwork  and Contemporary Whitework which she co-authored with Nicola Jarvis.  Her third book Crewel Work is now available and is self- published. You can read my review of Crewelwork here.

She designs and works to commission, sells and exhibits her own work which uses hand stitch techniques both traditionally and with contemporary styles. These include gold work, silk shading, and white work.

Tracy is Head Broderer for Durham Cathedral and runs a City & Guilds programme and the RSN Certificate and Diploma Courses from her studio in Durham City. Tracy’s teaching includes classes, courses and workshops taught to groups and individuals of various levels. Courses include the Royal School of Needlework Certificate Course and City & Guilds Design and Embroidery (up to diploma level) with Julia Triston ­ through the independent City & Guilds centre.

1. Do you have a favorite kind of needlework? If so, which kind and why?

I like most types of needlework, and feel I can adapt to whatever I am enjoying at any one time. At present, I enjoy mixing techniques and methods, using contemporary ideas, with traditional good technique. I am into couching – including gold threads, but other things too.

2. What motivated you to create your very first design? Looking back, do you think it was a successful design? If so, why? If not, why not?

I always create my own designs (rarely copy), and they are naturally influenced by whatever I am drawn towards or attracted to at the time. As I have grown as an artist, designer and embroiderer – I feel quite confident with most things I produce and I nearly always have a technique in mind when I am designing.

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