Report by Ros
For our March meeting the Textile Artist, Lynda Monk talked about creating surface textures using varying techniques and materials. Thirty years ago Lynda enrolled on a C & G machine knitting course but her tutor introduced her to creative embroidery – that was the end of her interest in knitting!
She then signed up with Siân Martin’s online Distant Stitch and became interested in creating surfaces using different materials and techniques. Maggie Grey asked her to write an article for Workshop on the Web (WOW) and the first involved using tissue paper (Vogue dressmaking patterns are best!), organza and a polymer medium or diluted PVA glue. In June 2009 another WOW article used kunin felt, Gesso and acrylic wax which was burnt back using a heat gun to create a surface.
Maggie Grey then asked Lynda to write her first book with Carol McFee entitled Stitching the Textured Surface. Her second book in November 2011 was called Fabulous Surfaces which introduced the idea of using foil on pelmet Vilene for making beads, brooches and books. Another book called Exploring Creative Surfaces was published in December 2012 in which Lynda explained using Lutradur, tissue paper, scrunched up scrim with Tyvek and Xpanda print and moulding paste. Lynda finished her talk in a practical way by passing round sheets of plain A4 paper and talking us through the folds to create a Grandma’s boasting book so we could make a “scrummy” surface first and then turn it into a book.
The next meeting of the Guild will be held at the Kennet Valley Hall, Lockeridge on Monday 13 April when we will be holding a Ploughman’s Lunch (£5 - book in advance) with displays and demonstrations of equipment. The doors will open at 12.00 for 12.30. All are welcome and if you require further details please contact 01249 750865 or visit our website: http://www.marlboroughembroiderers.org
Report by Ros
MARLBOROUGH SURGERY WALL HANGING
In 1994 the Embroiderers Guild was planning for an exhibition of their work to take place in March 1997. It was suggested that members of the Guild should combine to produce a piece of embroidery for the exhibition and so a small committee (Carol Jones, Elizabeth Seymour and Judith Winterbottom) was set up to produce a design. They decided that the piece would be semi-circular and depict various features of Marlborough, including the River Kennet which would form the lower part of the hanging. Working from photographs, drawings or cuttings, small sections of the design were given to members of the Guild to work in whatever technique they preferred. Some embroidered buildings and some took on smaller pieces depicting flowers, birds, etc.
By January 1997 the river section had been completed and work began to assemble the rest during the next few months, ready for the exhibition opening on March 12th in Devizes. The stitching carried on until the very last day and was finally completed with the Marlborough coat-of arms, embroidered by our Chairman, Mary Greening, ready to be hung as the centrepiece of the exhibition.
When the exhibition was over there was much discussion as to what was to do with it. It was hoped that it could be hung in the Town Hall but the Town Council were not interested. The next idea was to offer to Marlborough Surgery, who happily accepted it to hang in the waiting room and it was officially handed over in May that year.
It remained in the surgery, where it was much admired, but by 2014, 17 years later, it was looking rather tired and bedraggled, and Audrey Peck suggested that it was time for some renovation, so with the Surgery's agreement this was undertaken by a small group of embroiderers. Audrey Peck, Rosemary Hawes, Ann Johnson and Margaret White met regularly and occasionally Margaret Gow and Deena Beverley and gradually the renovation took place. Some new features were added to it, including a number of small figures worked by other members, and a new lining sewn. Refurbishment was completed by November and rehung in the surgery's waiting room where it can be enjoyed by a new generation of Marlborough patients.
Report by Rosemary Hawes and Margaret Gow
Our speaker this month was Susi Bancroft from Brunel Broderers. Susi brought along Liz Hewitt, Kay Swancutt and new to the group, Julie Heaton. She started her talk by explaining Brunel Broderers were celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. In 1990 at the end of a City & Guilds course nine students decided to get together to organise exhibitions and raise the profile of textile work. The group meet once a month and is limited to around 12 members who are drawn from the South West including Bath, Cirencester and Stroud with the aim of creating a diverse range of work and giving each other constructive criticism.
Susi talked us through a presentation of each member’s work and displayed various examples for members to examine and enjoy.
The names of Brunel Broderers are:
Susi Bancroft Corinne Renow-Clarke Lizzie Weir
Liz Hewitt Louise Watson Kay Swancutt
Carolyn Sibbald Linda Babb Liz Harding
Carla Mines Alison Harper Julie Heaton
Susi has kindly created a link from their blog to our website and here is their address: http://brunelbroderers.blogspot.co.uk/
The next meeting of the Guild will be held at the Kennet Valley Hall, Lockeridge on Monday 2 March when the speaker will be Linda Monk and her talk will be entitled “Creating Surfaces”. The doors will open at 13.30 and the meeting will start at 14.00. All are welcome and if you require further details please contact 01249 750865 or visit our website: http://www.marlboroughembroiderers.org
Report by Ros
For our first meeting of 2015 Helen Thomas’ talk was entitled “Papers are textiles too”. She studied art and sewing at school and quilting and patchwork in her spare time but in retirement she enrolled on a drawing class and then a two year part time Foundation Course at the Bristol School of Art.
One project on the course involved making a dress from paper where she had to fold and pleat paper to create the structure. Another was inspired by a visit to Bristol Zoo where she used paper folding and mark marking to record her dislike for the encaged animals she had seen.
Playing with paper and creating books of varying shapes, structures and sizes has played an important part in Helen’s work. For another project she used an art gallery’s exhibitions brochures for one year and folded them into a long caterpillar like book with coptic binding which was then coiled round into a hand-made box.
Eco printing was another technique which Helen has explored creating a sandwich of paper, leaves and tissue which is then tied up and steamed. Coins or screws can be added to make the result even more interesting.
The next meeting of the Guild will be on Monday 2 February when Susi Bancroft’s talk will be entitled “Brunel Broderers”. The doors will open at 13.30 and the meeting will start at 14.00. All are welcome and if you require further details please contact 01249 750865 or visit our website: http://www.marlboroughembroiderers.org
Reported by Ros
On the first Monday in December we all enjoyed our annual “bring & share” Christmas lunch. Each member was given a complimentary raffle ticket - we had a wonderful selection of prizes.
After lunch Paul Robins, who specialises in creating special effects for films and TV, entertained the group with stories and showed us various puppets and models he had made. At the age of 7 Paul had been enthralled by Jason & the Argonauts and from that age he was fascinated by how things are made. He prefers to do his research using books rather than the internet and he has a long list of suppliers. He showed us a talking dog, a parrot on a stick and one of Harry Potter’s wands. Paul ended his talk by explaining that only 5 puppeteers in the world are allowed to use Kermit the Frog and he is one of them. Unfortunately, due to copyright, we were not allowed to take any photographs to record the day.
Reported by Ros
Nine of us gathered today with the intention of learning to love our overlocker instead of seeing it as 'the monster sat in the corner'. After showing us samples of what can be achieved with an overlocker our tutor, Ann Kingdon, began by encouraging us to become familiar with threading the machine, not easy, but we were all fairly confident with this by lunchtime. Later we tried basic overlooking on different weights and types of fabrics, getting the tension correct was a challenge but we made progress and gradually moved on to rolled hemming, flat locking, pin tucks and other processes which can be produced on an over locker
Ann Kingdon was a very competent, encouraging and patient tutor. Not only did she have a class of total or near novices but we had a variety of different makes of machine which made the day even more challenging for her.
Thank you very much Ann for such a useful day. We all learned a lot and feel more confident about using our over lockers now and perhaps even fond of them!
Thank you Christine Hill for the report and Kay Francis for the photos
Ros is travelling in India so Christine Hill has stood in for her. Thanks, Christine
Today the members enjoyed a fascinating and most informative talk by Jenny Adin-Christie entitled "Preserving the Past / Creating the Future". Jenny began stitching as a young girl and was fortunate to be encouraged by both her family and school to take up a career in embroidery. She was offered a three year course at the Royal School of Needlework. This proved to be a very intensive course; working very long hours during the week and often weekends too with only four weeks holiday per year. The course, or apprenticeship as it was known, included gold work, Jacobean crewel work, silk shading, white work, traditional appliqué and 'both sides alike' embroidery used for military banners. The students were expected to research and produce their own designs. At the end of the course Jenny was offered a full time job carrying out commission work and teaching.
The excellent slides Jenny showed included details of some of the commissions carried out by the RSN - the coronation robes of Her Majesty the Queen, an eighteen foot silk velvet train heavily embroidered with gold work using eighteen different solid gold threads, a new pelmet and curtains for the Royal Opera House which involved stitching gold work designs onto half inch thick curtain velvet and a Jubilee Woolsack for the Royal Chelsea Hospital. These projects demonstrate the level the students are expected to attain by the end of the course.
Jenny is particularly fond of white work which she teaches in Australia and New Zealand as well as running regular courses in France and showed us slides of her own work as well as that of some of her students. She also brought samples of her stump work pictures, absolutely stunning work.
Jenny has also been involved in restoration and conservation projects which she described to us.
Although Jenny became freelance some six years ago she can still be called on to be part of a RSN team to work on an important project and as a result became involved in the making of the Carrickmacross lace for Kate Middleton's wedding dress. A team of seventy worked on the lace for long hours, day and night in the week leading up to the wedding as there was not a lot of time to complete the work; Jenny did not put the final stitches in until 3am on the day of the wedding. She told us that she did not get a tip but was allowed, the only one, to keep a tiny sample of the lace!
It was a wonderful talk and we could have continued listening for much longer had there been time.
Unfortunately this year we did not have sufficient people to organise a Guild coach to Ally Pally so several of us went by ourselves. Vernice and I went on Thursday and she has kindly shared some of her photos so the rest of you can have a taste of some of the amazing pieces on display. Click on the images for details.
Thank you Vernice!
Report by Ros
This was an art competition organised by Wiltshire Council Health & Social Care Department to promote breastfeeding in anti-natal clinics.
It was open to all age groups and in all art mediums. The eleven finalists had used water colour, pastel, photography, collage , crayon and machine embroidery.
I wanted to create a layered look using fine organza fabric and achieved the different tones of blue by cutting away one or two of the layers. The 'frame' was created by using vermicelli stitching and then a fine velvet ribbon as a straight line to contrast with the curves of the stitching and the image of the mother and baby. The canvas background was painted with acrylic paint in an abstract mottled effect so that the image did not appear too 'flat'.
The exhibition of the 11 finalists is to be shown in libraries around Wiltshire over the next few months. As soon as I know where these will be we will let you know.
Report by Lindsay
Kath did City & Guild courses and a HNC in Stitch Textiles and in 2006 self published a book entitled “Beautiful bowls and colourful creatures”. She told us about her visits to California, Australia and the well know Quilt Show at Houston. Kath talked to groups and organised workshops where she taught her bowl technique and her colourful insects. She kindly brought a selection of her work for members to enjoy.
Thank you Kath for sharing your travels.
The next meeting of the Guild will be held on Monday 3 November when the speaker will be Jenny Adin-Christie and her talk will be entitled “Preserving the Past/Creating the Future”.
Reported by Ros