Talk - Dr Susan Kay-Williams & Amy Hare from the Royal School of Needlework


Hand & Lock

SKU: 128615

Technical Excellence with Artistic Innovation: The Forward-Looking Royal School of Needlework &  Object Lessons: Embroidery & Self-Fashioning in the Royal School of Needlework Collection

Date: Friday 5th November 2021

Time:  12pm-1.30pm

Location: Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House St, South Bank, London SE1 9PH

Technical Excellence with Artistic Innovation: The Forward-Looking Royal School of Needlework &  Object Lessons : Dr. Susan Kay - Williams 

Students from the Royal School of Needlework have won the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery for Textile Art Award three times in the last four years. In 2020, three Degree Graduates’ work was selected by Li Edelkoort, of the New York ‘Trend Union’, for her ‘Talking Textiles’ trends magazine dedicated to the “Great Generation of 2020”. Closer to home, the Crafts Council selected four RSN Degree Graduates for the ‘Future Edit 2020 Graduate Showcase’, featuring 44 selected makers. RSN Chief Executive, Dr Susan Kay-Williams’ talk will highlight how the RSN approaches its teaching – technique first - but then challenges students to develop their own ideas so that the work of each student is personal, individual and unique. The RSN will reach a significant milestone in 2022 and Susan will reveal how we see this as not just a reflection of the past but as a springboard for the future.


Embroidery & Self-Fashioning in the Royal School of Needlework Collection: Amy Hare 

Amy Hare, RSN Degree Senior Lecturer and Costume History Specialist will use a series of object case studies to explore how the Royal School of Needlework's Collection of historic textiles has been used to inspire and delight students of hand embroidery. What do students learn when they encounter an historic object? What can the objects tell us about past lives and how do they illuminate contemporary creative practices? How can the biography of an object encourage us to approach contemporary craft differently?

This talk will allow you access to the exhibition on the date of the talk, however will only allow a one time entry. 

Dr Susan Kay-Williams

Dr Susan Kay-Williams is the Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework, a post she has held since 2007. She is also the RSN’s Curator and Archivist and is currently working on a history of the RSN to be published during its 150th anniversary in 2022. Susan’s research interest is in the history of dyes and she is the author of The Story of Colour in Textiles and a number of journal papers. She has been invited to speak all over the world (actually or virtually) from the US to China and Japan, and particularly enjoys speaking about the work of RSN students.

Amy Hare

Amy Hare is a Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies at the Royal School of Needlework and an Associate Lecturer in Costume History at UAL Wimbledon. Amy was born and brought up in London and has always been obsessed with old things, making things, books, films and clothes. She began her career as a costume maker for stage and screen after graduating from Wimbledon School of Art in 2004, specialising in tailoring and period clothing.
Amy has worked at Angels Costumiers, Sands Films, Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre and began to turn her skills to teaching while working at the costume department of the BBC. After enjoying working with students from the very first day, Amy pursued a career in teaching all aspects of Fashion and Textiles in schools and colleges for the next ten years.
In 2017, Amy completed a Masters degree in the History of Design at the University of Oxford, and in the same year began lecturing in research methods and the History of Fashion on the BA Costume for Performance course at UAL Wimbledon, and working as a Textiles Education Consultant for the Historic Royal Palaces and the Royal Dress Collection.
Amy is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Bristol, a member of the Costume Society, The Society for Theatre Research and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. She also has a sideline making bespoke vintage style bridal couture (as featured in The Times and Rock n Roll Bride). Amy is passionate about sharing research and giving a voice to makers as researchers within a wider academic discourse.

The event is open from Wednesday 3rd Nov - Sunday 7th November

11am-6pm daily

(Thurs closed from 5pm)

Bargehouse is partially accessible. The venue has two disabled toilets and a STANNAH stair-lift which provides access for wheelchair users to the first and second floors only. The stair-lift is for standard manual wheelchairs and cannot be used with motorised chairs or scooters.

Talks will be held on the third floor with no disabled access.

For more information please visit Access Able: