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Stumpwork Resource Guide

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Stumpwork, Old and New

Written by Rissa Peace, June 2002, all rights reserved.

Background Information

"Stumpwork embroidery is a raised form of embroidery created on one background and transferred to another, ground fabric, and is three-dimensional through the use of padding, beads, wire and/or needle lace stitches. "  - Jeanmarie Bruccia, from Jenny June's Fancy Work.  

I love raised embroidery and nothing is more dimensional than Stumpwork.  When I began this journey, I was struck by the very different designs that all fell under the umbrella of Stumpwork.  The term Stumpwork is a 19th Century invention that describes raised work and stuffed work.  In period, it was referred to as raised work, "embost" or even "brodees en relief". [1]  I had seen these marvelous embroideries on padded chests and wall hangings in museums and books and marveled at their soft sculpture design and heavy use of needle lace.  Then much later, I ran across Jane Nicholas' series of books and although Ms. Nicholas gives wonderful histories of the art form, I was most impressed by her adaptation of the traditional to something more modern. Then I read with great interest the debate on what really is and is not authentic on the Embroiderers Guild of America's (EGA) mailing list and among members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).  It would seem that there is a schism among the purists, but the end result is a greater awareness of raised embroidery and its design potential.

First, there is very traditional raised work and padded embroidery that is firmly rooted in the designs of 17th century England (reaching its peak in 1650.)  This is represented by authentic reproductions and newer renditions of traditional designs as seen in publications like that of Barbara and Roy Hirst.  Some people refer to this as English Stumpwork.  The second is a more modern style typified by Jane Nicholas.   This is sometimes referred to as Australian Stumpwork.  Both types of Stumpwork are very dimensional designs, and they employ many of the same techniques for achieving this effect, but they are really quite different.  

Regardless of the style you select, there are ample resources to get you started on your journey!

On-line Resources:

Stumpwork information and examples:

bulletAntiques Online Late 18th/Early 19th Century Stumpwork
bulletAntique Samplers Stumpwork and Related Needlework
bulletCedar Valley Stumpwork Apple Blossom Petit Project
bulletCaron-Net Designer Spotlight on Karen Buell
bulletHGTV Stumpwork
bulletJean Fletcher's Stumpwork Cabinet
bulletJenny June FAQ About Stumpwork
bulletSCA Elizabethan Raised Embroidery by Branwen Wallis
bulletScarlet Letter Stumpwork Picture 17th Century Reproduction Sampler
bulletSealed Knot 17th Century Stumpwork by Anne Rhodes
bulletStitch 17th Century Raised Work Box
bulletWhiteworks Stumpwork Embroidery

Stumpwork designers and retail kits:

bulletGerry Buckley Cross-Stitch Design Stumpwork Kits
bulletHanging by a Thread Liz Turn Diehl Stumpwork
bulletJDR Brazilian Elegance Karen Buell Designs
bulletJDR Brazilian Elegance Loretta Holtzberger's Designs
bulletJennifer Bee Embroidery and Stumpwork Designs
bulletJenny June Jean Fletcher's Kits
bulletJenny June Kits by Jennifer Bee
bulletJenny June Kits by Julie Ann Designs
bullet Julie Ann's Stumpwork
bulletKay Dennis' Gallery
bulletMary Jane Collection Stumpwork Online Catalog
bulletNeedlearts Studio Project Stumpwork Scissor Case and Needlebook
bulletNostalgic Needle Stumpwork Etui
bulletNostalgic Needle Stumpwork Whimsy Box
bulletWR Murray Julie Ann Designs

Free Stumpwork patterns:

bulletCaron-Net Holly & Berries by Karen Buell Design
bulletJean Fletcher Buttercup Pattern
bulletJean Fletcher Little Fillers Patterns
bulletJean Fletcher Nodding Lily Pattern
bulletKreinik Crimson Chat Stumpwork
bulletKreinik Starry Night Pin 

Print Resources:

Stumpwork specific books and leaflets:

bulletAshby, Daphne & Woolsey, Jackie.  Stumpwork, Why Not?
bulletBest, Muriel.  Stumpwork: Historical & Contemporary Raised Embroidery.  Hardcover.  136 Pages.  ISBN 0-71345-5721.
bulletDennis, Kay.  A Beginner's Guide to Stumpwork. Search Press.  Soft cover.  80 Pages. ISBN 0-85532-8703. 
bulletHinde, Annette .  Australian Wildflowers in Stumpwork. Soft cover.  104 pages.  
bulletHirst, Babarba.  Raised Embroidery: A Practical Guide to Decorative Stumpwork.  Merehurst.  Soft cover.  80 Pages.  ISBN 1-85391-2034
bulletHolzberger, Loretta.  Needlelace & Stumpwork: Contemporary Designs & Techniques for Dimensional Embroidery.  Self Published.  100 Pages. ISBN 0-96794-5402.
bulletNicholas, Jane.  Stumpwork Dragonflies.  Milner.  Hardcover.  96 pages. ISBN: 1-86351-2624.
bulletNicholas, Jane. Stumpwork Embroidery: A Collection of Fruits Flowers and Insects for Contemporary Raised Embroidery.  Milner.  Hardcover.  216 pages. ISBN: 1-86351-1830.
bulletNicholas, Jane. Stumpwork Embroidery: Design and Projects.  Milner.  Hardcover.  160 pages. ISBN: 186351208X. 
bulletRemmington, Preston.  English Domestic Needlework of the XVI, XVII, and XVIII Centuries.  Dated 1945. There is a nice historical article that precedes the dozens of black and white photos of the exhibit.  The author was the  Curator of Renaissance and Modern Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
bulletWislon, Erica.  The Craft of Silk and Gold Thread Embroidery and Stump Work.  Scribner's Sons.  Soft cover.  96 pages.  ISBN: 0-684-15067-0.
bulletVictoria and Albert Museum.  Flowers in English Embroidery.  Curator notes and guide, with black and white photographs, for an exhibit. Printed 1947.

Stumpwork specific projects in magazines:

bulletIssue 14 "In Prayse of the Needle" pp. 24
bulletIssue 22 "Scottish Thistle" pp. 42
bulletIssue 26 "Papillon" Butterfly Box. pp. 32
bulletIssue 27  "Summer Fruit" Drawstring work bag.  pp. 28
bulletIssue 29 "Damselfly" by Jane Nicholas.  pp. 24
bulletIssue 31 "Liberty" a Stumpwork Cricket in gold.  pp. 26
bulletIssue 32 "Elizabethan Dragonfly" pp. 22
bulletEmbroidery and Cross Stitch
bulletVolume 3, Number 2.  "Gardener's Delight"  pp. 48
bulletVolume 3, Number 3.  "Goldwork Heartsease & Strawberries" pp. 72
bulletVolume 3, Number 6.  "Pansy Parade" cover and pp. 26
bulletVolume 4, Number 1.  "La Petite Pooch" pp. 54
bulletVolume 4, Number 6.  "Raised Embroidery" pp. 20, "The Language of Flowers" pp. 22 and "Elizabethan Rose" pp. 28
bulletVolume 5, Number 1.  "Golden Whistlers" by Jean Fletcher pp. 58
bulletVolume 5, Number 3. "Heartsease and Strawberries" pp. 22
bulletVolume 5, Number 4. "Grazing and Lazing"
bulletVolume 5, Number 5.  "Violets" pp. 62
bulletVolume 5, Number 6.  "Golden Gum Blossoms" pp. 33
bulletVolume 6, Number 3. "Flemish Still Life" pp. 36 and "Stumpwork Grapes" pp. 68
bulletVolume 6, Number 4.  "Violets from Windsor" pp. 58 and "Champagne Rose" pp. 64
bulletVolume 6, Number 5.  "Bursting Red Gum Blossoms" pp. 66
bulletVolume 6, Number 8.  "Four Sheep Grazing" pp. 44
bulletVolume 6, Number 9. "Strelitzia Stumpwork" Bird of Paradise pp. 44
bulletVolume 6, Number 10. "Scarlet Honeyeater and Wattle"
bulletVolume 7, Number 10. "Native Flowers of Australia"
bulletVolume 7, Number 11.  "Merry Christmas Robin"
bulletVolume 8, Number 2. "Laugh Kookaburra, Laugh"
bulletSampler & Antique Quarterly.  Spring 2002.  Volume 26. "The Lady's Dogwood".  

[1]   Wallis, Branwen Madyn.  Elizabethan Raised Embroidery.  

2001 - 2003
Last edited: 12/28/2003