NewsRoyal School of Needlework

RSN students win key needlework awards

Three Royal School of Needlework (RSN) graduates have been named as winners at the Hand & Lock Embroidery Prize 2020. Naomi Aindow, Martha Blackburn and Lucy Tiley were recognised for their innovative and creative handiwork – more details below. Alongside these first-prize winners, RSN graduate Hisae Abe came third in the Student Fashion category, while graduate  Grace Ingman, and third-year student Durga Shanthakumar, were commended for their entries. 

Naomi Aindow Naomi won The Worshipful Company of Gold & Silver Wyre Drawers Associate Award. Naomi graduated in 2020 with a BA (Hons) in Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art. Naomi’s current project, ‘Spores of Life’, focuses around fungi and lichen, looking at the minute patterns within an overall spore, such as the oyster mushroom and tundra lichen - see below. Naomi is particularly drawn to these macro details. She says: “The concept - the deeper you look the more you discover - is perfectly demonstrated through the common puffball mushroom. The surface texture appears to be fluffy but closer inspection reveals tiny soft spikes. This concept is detailed heavily throughout ‘Spores of Life’. As you gaze deeper into the adornment, more stitches and textures become apparent.”

Hand + Lock embroidery prize 2020 Naomi Aindow

Martha Blackburn Martha won two awards: first prize in the Student Textile Arts category and also the Royal School of Needlework Associate Award for Innovation and Technical Excellence in Hand Embroidery - see below for part of her winning project. After a degree in textiles at Manchester School of Art, Martha recently graduated from the RSN Future Tutor programme, which prepares graduates for a career in teaching hand embroidery techniques. Talking about her Future Tutor studies, Martha said: ‘After completing the Future Tutors Programme, I would like to continue developing my personal practice through photography, drawing and embroidery. I am really interested in the interrelationship between these three mediums and how it is vital that contemporary art and craft is continually being formed by traditional methods.’

Hand + Lock embroidery prize 2020 Martha Blackburn

Lucy Tiley Lucy won The Worshipful Company of Broderers Associate Award and took third prize in the Student Textile Arts category. Lucy graduated in summer 2020 with a BA (Hons) in Hand Embroidery. Her project ‘Omnipotent Horizons’ - see below - is based around aerial views focusing on the beautiful naturally occurring patterns and colours in our landscapes. Using bold colours coupled with fierce patterns, Lucy captures the beauty of the landscape through organic paint marks that then translate into beautiful stitch. Lucy says, “My work is a combination of bespoke embroidery combined with more contemporary processes and materials. I have been painting canvas with a range of aerial views and have decided on a striking purple/orange piece as my inspiration for my collection. [Both the] Edwardian chair and matching stool [were] reupholstered and embellished with a range of embroidery techniques. I have scanned and printed my painting onto a soft velvet which has given it a vibrant and crisp look to the paint strokes.”

Hand + Lock embroidery prize 2020 Lucy Tiley

The Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery 2020