CYA workshop: Hand embroidery for beginners!

Student life outside the class is a key part of the CYA experience. We encourage students to engage with a variety of extracurricular activities, explore new challenges, and have fun!

For 2018, we added a new and very interesting suggestion: Hand Embroidery!

Does this sound old-fashion to you? Think again! Embroidery makes a comeback today as a very current, creative, meditating, and portable hobby.

Giorgia Katsarou, CYA academic librarian and embroidery aficionado, can testify to that. Over the last Spring Semester, Giorgia launched a hand embroidery workshop for beginners and the response was truly great!

At the first meeting, Giorgia introduced the class to the Greek traditional embroidery that flourished between the mid-17th and late-19th centuries and was used for home decoration and to adorn costumes and ecclesiastical garments. Greek embroideries were classified according to their place of origin to the following categories: embroideries from the Aegean and Ionian Islands, Mainland Greece, Thrace, Asia Minor, Constantinople, Cyprus.

Embroiderers used several different stitches and techniques and nowadays their masterpieces are displayed at some of the most popular Museums in the world, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York! Some examples of Greek Traditional Embroidery can be seen at the website of The Greek Institute.

Following this brief presentation, students rolled up their sleeves and got hands-on as they created a sampler with the most popular stitches. Next, participants decided to move on to something modern, stitching a small piece of embroidery in a technique called “thread painting”. By the end of the semester, students were happy to present their labor of work: stunning, multicolored bird embroidery decorations!