Jenny’s career stemmed from a rich family heritage of craftsmanship, being taught to stitch and make from an early age by her mother, a teacher specialising in textiles, and her father, a master gunsmith and fishing rod builder.
Fine hand embroidery became her true passion and Jenny was encouraged to apply for a sought-after place on the rigorous three-year Apprenticeship course then offered at the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court. Here she learnt to work a hugely diverse range of traditional and more contemporary techniques to a professional standard, training simultaneously in art and design.
Jenny graduated from the Apprenticeship in 1996 with distinction and awards in goldwork and silk shading, before being honoured with full-time employment at the RSN. This role allowed her the enviable opportunity to practice her skills on the
‘FROM BOTH PARENTS, SHE LEARNED
A LOVE AND RESPECT FOR FINE CRAFTSMANSHIP AND AN AWARENESS
OF THE REWARDS TO BE GAINED FROM
A CREATIVE CAREER.’
enormously varied commissions of the commercial studio, and as a tutor on the broad range of courses. Jenny thus became widely recognised as a specialist in the fields of whitework, metal thread, raised embroidery/stumpwork and embroidery design.
Ten years of invaluable experience as a senior tutor and studio embroiderer, eventually becoming Assistant Head of the Studio at the RSN, allowed Jenny to branch out as a freelance embroiderer when her daughter was born in 2008. Jenny now works full time as a professional hand embroiderer, running her own business from her home studio in Surrey.
JOHN ADIN, CHIEF CRAFTSMAN
Jenny’s lovely Dad is one of the most skilled craftspeople. He has worked as a master gunsmith and fishing rod builder for the last 50+ years. His skills with wood and metal are fabulously transferrable to making embroidery tools and accessories – designing giant stretchers for altar frontals, making bespoke wooden boxes to display embroidery, turning tiny wooden kit components, designing and making our wonderful stilettos and mellors, and fitting bronze wrens’ beaks! His devotion to making beautiful and functional things is an endless inspiration to Jenny.
JANET ADIN, CHIEF KIT MAKER
Jenny’s lovely Mum; without whom Jenny would not have learned to stitch and learned to love making and creating from an early age. Janet is also a superb craftswoman and has become the chief maker of our kits. Her dedication to this task knows no bounds, with her superb attention to detail and presentation, and with the mind-blowing hours she puts into constructing these complex works of art, these kits could not exist without her.
WAYNE ADIN-CHRISTIE, PERSONAL ASSISTANT
Jenny’s lovely husband, right hand man, chauffeur, box carrier, travel companion, class setter-upper, computer issue solver, counsellor, supplier of endless cups of tea and utterly indispensable assistant for his slightly nutty embroiderer wife. He has become quite the expert in embroidery supplies and is often seen managing the pop-up shop at events and classes and charming the students into buying his wares!
HAZEL ARNOTT, CLASS ASSISTANT
Textile conservator and embroiderer extraordinaire, dearest friend, adviser and moral support. Hazel loves binding embroidery hoops and pre-framing slate frames for students as a switch-off from her intense day job; both thankless tasks that enable students to avoid the boring prep and progress straight to the exciting stitching. Hence, everyone loves Hazel!
ALLYSON DISNEY, CLASS ADMINISTRATOR
Allyson has had an eclectic career in banking, the rag trade and the global telecoms industry and thus has super business and organisational skills. She is also a keen embroiderer and quilter. She manages the epic tasks of studio timetable planning and bookings, and helps to manage and administer external events and classes. Allyson is always smiling – despite trying to keep an artist organised!
CLAIRE PASSARIS, ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT
The dear lady who has the unenviable task of managing the figures! Claire trained as a museum professional and worked for the National Trust as a House Steward at Chartwell. She also enjoys researching historic food and runs ‘A Taste of the Past’ bread-making courses and even the odd historic meal. She is now busy getting to grips with understanding the weird and wonderful things embroidery students purchase; deciphering their hand writing and turning it into beautifully organised accounts.
ADAM MILLS, SKILLED SILVERSMITH
Adam’s full-time job is as a horse trainer but he is also the sort of skilled craftsman who is few and far between these days. Many years ago he became interested in horology, and after developing his silver work and hand-engraving skills, began designing and making clocks, watches and jewellery. He uses these skills to translate Jenny’s ideas into hand-made and engraved embroidery accessories, such as the thread waxer for the Blue Wren Étui.