I have just heard today that Erica Wilson has died. It came about because I was showing a friend some of my old embroidery and sewing books and found my very old copy of Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book. Mine was a reissue in 1977 and I think I bought it new. I used it this year when researching one of our assignments for experimental textiles. It was wonderful to go back to read about the different stitches, see the very clear instructions and realise that I can still use them today.
It made me reflect on the impact people can have on our lives, even if we never meet them.
I have recently realised how much I like crewel embroidery and Jacobean patterns, things I tried with our pocket assignment in experimental textiles.
Of course, there are many people who have influenced me but it is interesting to reflect on one who has done it from afar, through trying to share her knowledge and enthusiasm. I suppose this is done through the new technology of the internet now. I am grateful for having had the book throughout all these years though and I am fairly sure I would not have visited websites and blogs as regularly as I have this book. It doesn't seem to be so ephemeral, it just has to be there, on the shelf. Internet sites are arranged in a different way, one I have not grown up with, so perhaps the younger generations will be more attuned to online resources. I hope they don't miss out on the joy of revisiting favourite books and images though.