From Humble Beginnings To Excellence.

Hello Everyone

This week I would like to share with you the story and work of Renette Kumm.  Renette lives in Kynsna, South Africa and did a workshop with me in 2011 – at the time her work was good but she has since gone on to achieve excellence with her needle painting embroidery.  A few weeks ago I received this email from her:

“Hi Trish, after embroidering just about all of your birds (except the Sacred Kingfisher on that challenging log,  kit ready and waiting) my teacher, Rose Barnes, asked me to embroider a Bearded Vulture  (size of bird approx 3″x6″) as a gift for her son.  The stitching is done in mostly a sort of satin stitch with some long and short. It was very challenging as this is a very feathery, slightly untidy and mosaic coloured bird. This is wholly my own interpretation and my own choice of colour. Do not be too critical of my stitching. I am only starting to explore my creativity.  Would love to have your input.”

When I downloaded the picture this is what I saw – Such beautiful work I was in awe!

Bearded Vulture
Bearded Vulture


I contacted Renette and asked her if she would be prepared to do an interview with us and share the “behind the scenes” of stitching her picture and she kindly agreed.  You can read about it below:

 Please tell us a bit about yourself and personal life?

My working life involved something completely different to the beautiful world of embroidery that I am now part off. My husband and I were involved in building, construction and pre-cast concrete. He passed away in 1997 and I carried on with the business until 2002. In 1999, with a wonderful new man in my life, we purchased a holiday home in Knysna and in 2000, we moved to Knysna permanently, commuting to Gauteng only when necessary and in 2002 handed the business over to my stepdaughter. No more commute.

164When did you start embroidery and how?

The Pretoria Fine Art Embroidery exhibition was held at a hall, I cannot remember exactly where or when, in the early eighties. My mother bullied me into accompanying her and I fell head over heals on love with the work. The discipline was long and short, the subjects were landscapes and portraits and I could not believe this work was the done with needle and thread. That was it for me, I wanted and needed to learn how to do this. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, this had to wait till 2010. In Knysna I have two wonderful teachers, Rose Barnes and Lesley Turpin-Delport.


What is your favourite embroidery and why?

Long and short, or needle painting if you wish.  It is the one discipline that allows me to interpret what I see. It really is the most satisfying of all forms of embroidery. That said, I’m the perfect example of a stitch junkie. It is  my passion. I’m sending you this ft Hampton Court Palace in London, where I start a two day course in needle painting this morning. Forget Harrods, bring me my needle and thread.


Thats wonderful Renette, am sure you will manage to include a little shopping trip to Harrods in between stitching with theRSN!  Hope this inspires you all to persevere with your needle painting, you too can achieve great things.  Meantime, wherever you are be it winter, spring, summer or autumn have a wonderful weekend and many happy stitching hours.  Trish

8 thoughts on “From Humble Beginnings To Excellence.”

  1. WOW. Everyone has used all of the words to explain this wonderful piece of art. I don’t think she needs any more lessons! I think she has it!

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