15th June 2017
Pauline used her quilting background and incorporated many of the features which she explored in her design work in their creation. During her experimentation she found that dying the cream fabric she uses did not produce the required results and so explored using coloured threads and stitch to create the desired effects.
The quilt ‘Transforming Tradition’ took about 300 hours to produce and features the Mayan ‘X’ Motif.
18th May 2017
information – Judith liked the shape and took aspects of city life e.g. regeneration of buildings (orange lift, grey building etc), floral city (red / green hanging basket, appliqué flowers) basically the work is largely lines which provide a textural quality to the pieces.
20th April 2017
Jewellery made out of crisp packets / tin foil (contents of a lunch box) created in a book for C and G,
‘political pin cushions’ featuring force feeding, Margaret Thatcher, BREXIT – my legacy, Pick and Mix – the last election,
WW 1 – bandages – tattered and torn as a rolled book, other books are ‘Nameless and Faceless’ – featuring fabric from which the printed faces had been used previously and just the remainder of the image was left.
16th February 2017
Next she embarked on a BA Embroidery degree at Manchester and whilst here she had many opportunities to develop her work. Examples of this are work for the clothing company ‘Oasis’ where Chloe laser cut wood and used appliqué to attach this, use of a multi head machine to create an embroidery based on Moroccan tiles which was then used on clothing. A competition in which she entered a ‘peacocks head’ design led to her work being used by ‘Purvah’ who used the design to feature on a cushion but changed the colours. A learning experience for Chloe to find companies could change colours etc without consultation once the design belonged to them.
She has undertaken various placements including India where the Jacobs Well Charity teaches women embroidery, tailoring etc. Whilst there Chloe visited factories and experienced the conditions as well as child labour being used to make goods – which were sold in the developed world, by companies some of whom say they do not use child labour.
like pheasants have personality e.g. they run across the road in front of you rather than retreating back into the hedgerow and this interests her, also the fact that birds migrate from one country to another helped Chloe to express her thoughts in relation to women through the creation of maps with images on them.
Workshops continue to inspire Chloe and a Craft and Design Day in the old fish market in Manchester led to screen printed fish which people were asked to embroider and make up, these when sold provided funds for the RNLI.
Studying for her MA in Manchester Chloe lodged with a lady named Dorothy who was one of the first women to go to Oxford and whilst there she went to Germany on an exchange with Jewish girls, who stayed in the UK instead of returning to Germany. Tactile Too asked Chloe to create a piece of work (sketch book and final piece) and she used Dorothy’s story as her inspiration.
The Manchester Aid to Kosovo was set up after the war and 5 children who survived following the killing of the rest of their family came to Manchester. Chloe helps with the summer school and started children’s embroidery; this led to work with 20 widows of the war who she taught to embroider, initially making place mats and then creating 50 limited edition CD covers which were sold to raise money for the charity and now the women send their work to the UK to be sold.
There is an installation in the Imperial War Museum North in the exhibition of ‘Stories of War’ featuring 300 birds, the birds are embroidered in the same colour but each features the words of its creator.
19th January 2017
The theme for this is ‘Pathways’ - we have collected O S maps featuring the West Midlands region and stuck these onto card, which was then cut up.
The raffle was drawn and ‘winners’ selected their prizes.
8th December 2016
Christmas Lunch and Surprise Speaker
Members gathered at Brookfield Golf Club for coffee at 10.30
bringing with them Christmas greetings, cards and gifts for friends and of
course the broaches made for the ‘Christmas Swap’.
The tables set for lunch, looked very festive and luxurious
with gold cloths and serviettes, green and gold table centres containing the cyclamen
(a gift for one of those on each table at the end of the meal), Christmas crackers,
table name cards featuring Women celebrated for their work in Embroidery e.g.
May Morris and the red gift pockets for each member.
There were over 30 broaches all created using a variety of
techniques and all very different, they made a wonderful display and the
recipients were delighted with the broach gained in the exchange, many being
pinned on immediately.
After the refreshments and chat it was time for Trisha to
welcome us, reminding us at the January members meeting we would need basic
sewing kit and glasses if required.
Then the introduction of our surprise
speaker Meredith Towne who gave a very lively, enjoyable and informative
presentation entitled ‘Glitz and Glamour’.
This highlighted ladies evening wear in the early 20th
Century and featured the social history of the period that produced the changes
in style, decoration and hem lines. Meredith brought a wonderful selection of
original clothes, many of which featured embroidered and beaded decoration,
with which to illustrate her talk.
The tables set for lunch, looked very festive and luxurious with gold cloths and serviettes, green and gold table centres containing the cyclamen (a gift for one of those on each table at the end of the meal), Christmas crackers, table name cards featuring Women celebrated for their work in Embroidery e.g. May Morris and the red gift pockets for each member.
After the refreshments and chat it was time for Trisha to welcome us, reminding us at the January members meeting we would need basic sewing kit and glasses if required.
17th November 2016
Paper, Stitch, Passion and Purpose by Bridget Bowie
Bridget has a degree in textiles and embroidered textiles,
from this she started teaching Art to 11 to 18 yr olds and then 10 years ago
changed direction again to become a self employed Artist. This freedom came as
a bit of a shock after the routine of school, so she set out to develop her own
routine and with this the thoughts about what she was going to create , how to
develop her work and become more widely known.
When Bridget was teaching she used paper and card, working
with smaller pieces, off cuts etc so she decided on this as her starting point
for work at home. This involved the manipulation of different types of paper,
staining using various mediums and stitching the results together. There were
many influences on her work including cultures for example Indian. Bridget
developed a range of paper samples which she used for cards as well as using
the paper to produce images.
Initially she ran workshops focusing on the use of paper and
then needed to challenge herself, which came about through Crewe and Nantwich
together with Cheshire Council and the ‘Econet Project’. This looked at the
environment and involved exploring various outcomes other than pictures e.g.
labels/tag and a flat pack bird box.
Bridget met others on this project which
developed her ideas and resulted in a group of 4 signing up for an MA at
MMU. This produced a change of direction,
via an installation project at Victoria Baths in Manchester, which led to her
work telling a story. She collected stories/ memories from people who had used
the baths, involving bathing hats and swim suits, towels etc. How to use this information to produce the
installation, which by its nature takes time to create and set up, is not
present for long and is then disassembled. Bridget decided to collect towels,
roll them up (as one did with swim wear inside) and attach name tapes to them
which had different stories printed onto them.
The MA was Art as an Environment (selected to be different
from her original textiles) about our human environment and how we (Bridget)
fit into this. The first task for her MA was to ‘Make Something’ the item Bridget selected was a dress for a
doll – strange you might think but she visited her Mother on a day a week basis
through the course and her mother would present her with different items. The
doll was wearing a dress that Bridget had made for it when she was about 7
years old and she decided to recreate the dress, this brought about the
realisation that for her the process was a major part of the work rather than
the outcome. Before starting she had to think in terms of how it affected her,
what she knew and how we retain memories.
Bridget’s interest in memory, how it functions and affects
creativity resulted in a project working with a group whose members had
suffered a stroke, the group used images or items that were a part of their
memories to produce pieces of work. These are displayed in the Eagle Bridge
Life drawing featured as part of the course and from this
Bridget developed the process of cutting away the figure resulting in space
around the figure (this linked with the death of a friend). She also works with
tracing paper making positive and negative images, stitching paper together and
seeing the parts removed as being fragile whilst pieces that remain are more
Bridget’s Work since her MA has focused on what has been
removed e.g. removing sections from paper and machine stitching over the void. This process causes different things to happen
in terms of the paper changing shape, Bridget has little control over what
occurs and although she did not start with a particular outcome in mind during
her working it evolved into a 3D hanging.
Throughout her work Bridget uses photos of her work as part
of the process to further develop work/generation and exploration of ideas, it
helps her to look at her ideas differently for example when viewed from the
side it is contained whilst when viewed from above it looks open differing
Exhibitions have been ‘Off the Wall’ at little Moreton Hall
based on ruffs from Tudor dress and ‘Unravel’ the theme being to show the story
behind something eg her work featuring sketch books, process, samples,
exploration of ideas
20th October 2016
Goldwork by Golden Hinde
15th September 2016
At the AGM there were displays of the Travelling Books from 2016 , the items entered into the 'Chairmans' Challenge' competition for members to vote on and select a winner, members work created at the various workshops during the year as well as a raffle for a range of prizes.
The work entered for the challenge was excellent and varied in terms of techniques which provided members with very difficult decisions as to which piece to select as their favourite.
The second was to Linda Hall the winner of the Chairmans Challenge members vote pictured with her winning entry
21st July 2016
a raffle with many interesting prizes and Maggi Phillips sales table raising money for the overseas charity she supports.
16th June 2016
Experimentation also develops her work for example a layered piece which Amanda cut into sections and put ‘Thermo gauze’ in between stitching grasses into this and then melting the gauze to leave the stitches which represented the grasses blowing in the wind thus providing movement in the piece.
Mixed media is also used and enables her to push the boundaries with her work for example stitching onto paper and glues this onto pictures.
Each year Prism has a different theme for work which provokes different ideas and pieces including’ I must go down to the sea again, a piece which uses cellulose paste to bond CNC – this thickens the fabric so it is firm enough to stitch but which softens once stitched and the seascape was added using layers of paper, fabric and thread.
The 2011 theme was ‘Up Close in Detail’ for which Amanda created work based on the Dorset cliffs and the fossils on the shore.
The 2012 theme was ‘Hidden Places, Hidden Spaces’ this work came from an isolated beach, where things hidden by the sea are revealed as the tide ebbs for example seaweed, fishing line shells, rocks etc. Amanda does not like the rock in the middle of the picture so will cut the piece up and rework it.
19th May 2016
Ideas came from a map, walking along a canal towpath, nature and figures/people met, part of the work is quilted using a grid but also features hand stitch. There is a forest of trees which makes use of recycled embroidery, but in order to change the colour or tone it down Suzette will cover sections with lace or organza and then cut out areas to reveal the brighter colour.
A similar picture was created about two collared doves again with a written passage.
A Madeira Threads competition in 2004 entitled ‘Glimpses of India’ led Suzette to make 3D teacups and saucers – these are made as 2D and then put into a cup to mould them- and include tea leaves and ‘Masala Chai’.
‘Rose Queen sash’ - for this she used an existing sash (which belonged to her mother) which she cut up and reassembled back into a sash shape. The recycling of clothes and fabrics to create compositions together with experimenting with different threads including thicker ones in the bobbin to give a tapestry feel (she then sews on the reverse of the work) are all features of Suzettes work.
21st April 2016
Lynda started her career in textiles wanting a knitting machine and once acquired she made jumpers, from this she looked for evening classes to extend what she was doing and found C and G in machine knitting.
Her tutor introduced her to creative embroidery which led to Lynda stopping knitting after her part 1 . Instead of going on to part 2 she went to shows and bought books and kits to work on, then Lynda moved house and started using distance learning completing work through a blog, this then took over becoming a main way of communicating and leading to books, workshops e.g. ‘Pinked, Puffed and Pulled’ - Elizabethan costume the waistcoat is poly velvet which has been foiled, covered in organza and then put through the embellisher
Her second book 'Fabulous Surfaces' uses tissue papers combined with foils and acrylic mediums producing metallic effect surfaces and more. Lynda has used this technique to create wearable art constructed using Evolon as the background to obtain the metallic effect. This is also seen in the vessels and gift bags.
The third book in 2012 was
the quickest to write, 'Exploring Creative Surfaces' looks at creating more unique surfaces using scrim, polyester fabrics, foils and mixed media products.
The white flowers/leaves make use of Lutradur and Xpandaprint (puff paint) and a heat gun as when heat is applied the Xpandaprint puffs up whilst the Lutradur melts creating the lacy effect, wire is then used to stiffen the veins of the leaves/petals.
Sketch books are created from samples/ experiments with the processes being described fully
17th March 2016
Whilst working on her C and G Liz focused on lichens, an idea which came from the work of her scientist husband, who at that time was taking pictures of lichens through a microscope.
The scale of the circles varies from 4” to 24”, the fabrics are hand dyed and she has printed onto the fabric( via the computer and printer), this has included the words of the poem ‘Walls’ by Robert Frost(lichen featuring on walls as yellow/orange/grey/green patches)
The long panel is based on the same theme but with stone shapes, which Liz quartered and re assembled, this was a second working of the idea as she was not happy with the original.
As well as large pieces Liz creates smaller versions which are entirely stitched with French knots.
Yellow / fawn piece focuses on lichens(fungus and algae) and employs mixed media including flour and water paste.
As part of her C and G Liz created a quilt based on the solar eclipse, featuring the band of darkness seeping across the sun, this uses space dyed fabric and panel of moon shapes (the reverse is orange, red and yellow).
Cones made using dissolvable film, straight stitch and then working over this with circles, Liz did not wash out all the film and so they have some support and retain their shape.
For the Festival of Quilts –Be Inspired the brief was ‘August’, Liz decided to use the poem ‘August Midnight’ by Thomas Hardy, in which the light attracts insects – a moth, bee daddy long legs and flies. She appliquéd words, tie dyed fabrics, recycled fabrics, layered silk, organza’s and used velvet as a base.
The first pictures that Liz created were landscapes featuring the Slad valley for the centenary of Laurie Lee and one of the sun rise across the valley which used hand dyed fabric and hand embroidery.
18th February 2016
Claire spent her childhood abroad, living in various exotic countries, where creatures especially lizards, tropical flowers, colours, bird of paradise feathers, dancing/movement /fluidity all impacted on her and feature in her work.
This was followed by a felt hat – Claire manipulated the felt to give shape, embroidered using French knots and applied decoration in the form of ‘pimples’ (made by free machining in circles on Vilene using a thick bobbin thread, turning them through, stuffing them and attaching to the hat) and lizards – one machine embroidered and the other made in 3D and wired onto the hat.
In other experiments for her degree Claire machine embroidered onto soluble fabric to create a lace hat in 3 sections, brim, crown and tip, she then embellished with beading (applying them individually) and hand stitch amounting to 75hrs of work!
Throughout Claire was striving to make a machine embroidered lace hat but found it very difficult to stiffen them so they maintained shape as well as appearance. She participated in the New Designers Exhibition and was awarded a prize by The Worshipful Company of Drapers; with this Claire was able to buy hat blocks and machines enabling her to work at home.
Claire also created hats to match dresses – indeed with the first one someone suggested that she contacted the maker/designer of the dress and as a result she was given a voucher with which she acquired a second dress and the need to create a matching hat!
The beauty of the lace hats is they are light and easy to wear although very time consuming/labour intensive to make.
This led to a change in direction to the making of tiaras, headdresses, fascinators and flowers, still using embroidery, feathers, flowers, wire together with the application of beads, crystals etc.
Other work that she has done was with a theatrical costumer where Claire was involved in designing and making hats/headdresses for the ice show in Blackpool- fortunately there was a big budget allowing for extravagant creations.
10th December 2015
Christmas meeting and lunch
Tricia – had an announcement about Alston Hall (the venue for our 2016 week end course) which was closing at the end of December 2015 due to funding cuts. We will try to find another venue or if this fails develop an alternative proposal.
19th November 2015
embellished and finally has street furniture images applied.
5th piece – fabric strips layered onto wadding, tulle laid over this and then stitched into intensively to create a landscape. What to add into this? Inspiration came from a barn on a hill, which Deborah passes regularly and which changes depending on the weather/season/light etc. For the barn she used hand dyed brown fabric and stitched into it.
9th piece – fabric book (created from the paper towels used to mop up paints etc dried and glued together) the cover created from fabric scraps embellished onto backing, the motif was drawn on card, the shape was cut out of freezer paper and zig- zagged stitch on, the work was completed by stitching with pebble circles including over the motif (which was gone over in black at the end)
11th piece – still lots of green bits left so Deborah laid bits out, pieced them together and used free motion stitch in a lozenge shape( worked starting at the top and going to bottom the working back from the bottom to the top to create the pattern)
These projects came from one bag of scraps with the inspiration taken from the fabric.
Bunting quilts – consist of 2 flags one right facing and one left facing and create feeling of movement, scraps from this were then used as triangles to make another quilt completed with lots of close stitching.
The challenge is to use scraps, being mindful, but also reducing stress as there is no pressure to make something specific.
15th October 2015
A Whole Guild Opportunity
An introduction for Branch Chairs and GLO’s
2016 will be the 300th anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown – the landscape gardener responsible for many of the magnificent gardens and houses across the UK. The Landscape Institute is working with the National Trust and English Heritage to highlight CB’s work, co-ordinate celebratory events across the country and bring his name to a new audience. In the first ever celebration of his work, they will be working with partner organisations to create the largest festival of its kind.
Bringing stitch and textile art to a new and wider audience is one of the core aims of the Guild. Acting on a suggestion from three members the Guild approached the festival organisers with the proposition that textiles could add a unique contribution to these events. The Landscape Institute really liked the idea and welcomed the Embroiderers’ Guild as a Festival Partner.
Since then the three members (Amanda Smith, Alex Messenger and Eleanor Jakeman) have been working with the central Guild to prepare the ground for this superb opportunity for members, branches and regions. The Festival will benefit from considerable media coverage from the festival organisers, the 17 festival partner organisations and the venues taking part.
This introduction tells you about the project and the preparation work already done on behalf of branches. We hope each branch and its members will get the best from the opportunity to be a part of the Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown Festival.
The Embroiderers’ Guild Celebrating Capability Brown
A unique perspective at VENUE NAME
Capability Brown – England’s Greatest Gardener
His Early Life
Lancelot Brown was baptised on 30 Aug 1716 at Kirkhale Northumberland, the fifth of the six children of William Brown, a yeoman farmer and Ursula, née Hall, who had worked in the big house on the Kirkharle estate . He went to the village school at Cambo, and then began work as a gardener at Kirkharle, leaving in 1739. In 1741 he reached Stowe, Buckinghamshire where he rapidly assumed responsibility for the execution of both architectural and landscaping works in the famous garden. It was at Stowe in 1744 that Brown married Bridget Wayet, with whom he eventually had nine children. While at Stowe, Brown also began working as an independent designer and contractor and in autumn 1751, he was able to move with his family to the Mall, Hammersmith, the market garden area of London.
Brown’s style derived from the two practical principles of comfort and elegance. On the one hand, there was a determination that everything should work, and that a
landscape should provide for every need of the great house. On the other, his landscapes had to cohere and look elegant. While his designs have great variety, they also appear seamless owing to his use of the sunk fence or ‘ha-ha’ to confuse the eye into believing that different pieces of parkland, though managed and stocked quite differently, were one. His expansive lakes, at different levels and apparently unconnected, formed a single body of water as if a river through the landscape, that like the parkland itself, ran on indefinitely. This effortless coherence is taken for granted today in a way that was predicted in his obituary: ‘where he is the happiest man he will be least remembered, so closely did he copy nature his works will be mistaken’. His nickname of ‘Capability’ is thought to have come from his describing
landscapes as having “great capabilities”.
Brown offered a number of different services to his clients: for a round number of guineas, he could provide a survey and plans for buildings and landscape, and leave his client to execute his proposal; more frequently he provided a foreman to oversee the work, which would be carried out by labour recruited from the estate. Even in 1753, when he opened his account with Drummond's Bank, Brown was employing four foremen and by the end of the decade he had over twenty foremen on his books. Finally, he could oversee and refine the work himself, usually by means of visits for a certain number of days each year. He also practiced architecture, and during the 1750s contributed to several country houses, including Burghley House, Northants. However his architecture played second fiddle to his ‘place-making’.
In 1764 he was appointed to the gardens of Hampton Court, Richmond and St James and he then moved to Wilderness House, Hampton Court. Brown had suffered from asthma all his life, and his habit of the constant travel, together with his practice of not always charging for work (he would sometimes allow his client to determine the value of what he had done and seems frequently to have submitted plans and surveys without a bill), did affect both his health and finances. He continued to work and travel until his sudden collapse and death on 6th February 1783. He died at his daughter Bridget Holland's house in London, but was buried at Fenstanton, in Cambridgeshire, the only place he is known to have owned property and where he became Lord of the Manor.
An evaluation of his work
‘Capability’ Brown is best remembered for landscape on an immense scale, constructing not only gardens and parkland, but planting woods and building farms linked by carriage drives, or `ridings', many miles from the main house. Although his work is continually reassessed, every landscape gardener and landscape architect since, both in Britain and across the developed world, has been influenced in one way or another by Brown. Over two centuries have passed since his death, but such are the enduring qualities of his work that over 150 of the 260 or so landscapes with which he is associated remain worth seeing today. The images that Brown created are as deeply embedded in the English character as the paintings of Turner and the poetry of Wordsworth.
All members can take part… branch and individual members.
Members work may be exhibited in a branch or regional exhibition; at ‘host’ venues; and/or at Guild exhibitions and shows
Branches can work together to create exhibitions for their nearest venues.
Branches showcase their work in high footfall venues and attract potential new members.
Exhibitions agreed so far are for a minimum of a month and a maximum of 6 months.
Branches can meet the public by arranging ‘activity days’ for adults and younger embroiderers
Pieces interpreting Capability Brown’s work can supplement host venue-inspired pieces .
Guild and branches can build relationships with the host venues for further exhibitions in 2017 onwards.
Branches can approach other similar venues in their locality with the idea of an exhibition based on CB’s work.
Work from individual and branch members may be selected for the EG exhibitions at the NEC and K&S shows in 2016
Support for this project….
The three originating members are offering to support branches throughout this project. The central Guild will also be providing help. 28 venues are confirmed.
15 other venues are still being negotiated.
Many of these venues have grounds designed by CB himself. We have also approached other venues with equally beautiful and inspirational gardens in order to ensure a spread of EG branch exhibitions countrywide.
Letters outlining what has been agreed at this stage have been sent to all participating venues.
It should be possible for members visiting their host venue to get inspiration to do so without paying an entry charge.
A section of the World’s Longest Embroidery can be made available to support activity days.
The central Guild will be providing redesigned credit card sized ‘invitations’ to potential new members.
The central Guild will also be providing leaflets and posters as needed to support exhibitions and local marketing.
The Guild website will feature every exhibition and link to the venue and branch websites.
The CB Festival team will be running their own media campaign on line, in the press and specialist in magazines.
Stitch and Embroidery will feature the project, branch and member involvement and host venues.
1 Decide to part
3Advise the project team of 1 & 2
4 Visit the host venue for your exhibition
5 Plan your exhibition
6 Report back to your members
7 Plan YE involvement & activity days
9 Select pieces & mount exhibition
10 Explore possibilities for 2017/18 exhibitions
1. Deciding to take part…
3. Advise the project team and Central Guild of 1 & 2…
If your branch is going to be part of cluster group of branches that contribute to an exhibition at a host venue it will be necessary for the CB liaison people to get together (via the coordinating CB liaison person from the nearest branch) and, if possible, visit the host venue to plan your exhibition. As a result of this visit the participating branches should have…
Met the contact person and others at the host venue.
Explored the opportunities for interpreting aspects of the host venue in stitch. This is the part of our negotiations that encouraged many of the venues to take part.
It may be that the landscape, the gardens, the house or even the rooms and fittings that provide perfects sources for interpretation in stitch.
Visited the site of the exhibition and noted the predominant colour scheme, hanging options and constraints, any sources of strong light and have a clear idea of the sizes of pieces best suited to the exhibition space and hanging method.
Discussed and agreed any activity days - (date(s): location: activities: promotion: etc) - that would help the branches to meet the public and promote membership. If you felt it would add impact consider including the World’s Longest Embroidery in your activity day planning.
Explored and agreed the opportunities for YE involvement.
Discussed security and stewarding needs – if applicable.
recommending the following in respect of all pieces on exhibition…
Sizes / Number of pieces required.
The guidelines for CB liaison people (also attached to this email) have more information on this. You will also notice on the summary of venues that some have very specific requirements attached to them agreeing to an exhibition. Please observe these.
8. Design, stitch and enjoy…
10. Explore opportunities for exhibitions in 2017/18…
This is an opportunity for all members who wish to take part
The Capability Brown Festival will get substantial publicity in 2016
Nearly 30 venues have agreed to host an exhibition of members’ work, more are being negotiated
Look on the Guild website for more news of the project and developments, starting in September
The central Guild will be providing artwork for leaflets and posters. Details on the website in September
This is an opportunity to build a network of venues for future whole Guild exhibitions and events
Advise the project team of the name and contact details of the ‘CB Liaison Person’ for your branch
Make contact with the lead ‘CB Liaison Person’ for your cluster of branches (see list of host venues)
Visit your host venue to plan your exhibition; possible activities; and YE involvement
Encourage members who decide to participate to visit the host venue to see and draw inspiration from the landscapes and gardens
CB Project Team – firstname.lastname@example.org