On Sunday at the Fashion and Embroidery Show at the NEC, branch member Lindsay S was the Visitors' Choice winner in the 2019 Maderia competition.
This year the challenge was entitled GLIMPSES OF ROYALTY and entrants were asked to create a rich embroidered piece inspired by royals throughout history – they could choose to capture Harry and Meghan’s romance, the grandeur of Queen Elizabeth, or even a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt! With thousands of years of history to explore, there was a great choice and a wonderful selection of prizes to be won. It was supported by Stitch magazine with the Embroiderers’ Guild.
On behalf of all M&DEG members, congratulations Lindsay. You, and your work are amazing and a great inspiration to us all.
Thanks to Ann K for photo
Very few of our speakers have had such a prestigious CV as Karen Nicol. Karen’s mother was a keen flower arranger and she was brought up with flowers everywhere. Flowers, animals and birds can be seen in the majority of Karen’s work.
Karen gained a 1st class BA at the Manchester College of Art and then went on to the Royal College of Art where she studied textiles. For many years she taught at the Royal College of Art and has been visiting speaker and artist in residence all over the world.
Karen kindly bought a wonderful selection of her work for us to look at.
Karen then went on to show us images of her work. A large number of them included animals, birds or flowers and ranged from dresses to bedding, table linen and even large animal rugs. She mentioned working for designers like Alexander McQueen, Jasper Conran, Givenchy, Betty Jackson and John Rocha. In time Karen decided to expand her horizons and exhibit and accept commissions under her own name. She started with an exhibition in London and one in Italy with the theme of lace skirts but has subsequently exhibited all over the world. In 2015 Karen was awarded the Royal Designer for Industry.
To our amusement Karen told us that her favourite machine was a 47 year old Singer. She sources a lot of her materials from car boot sales and jumble sales and is always experimenting with unusual materials.
This was a truly inspirational talk which opened up a world I knew little about.
Apologies to Karen for the quality of some of these images which were taken from her presentation. I now know how to adjust the brightness on the projector!
Photos and report by Ros
A group of young embroiderers, under the guidance of Guild member Christine Hill, created beautiful hand stitched and decorated needle cases.
Thank you Christine for the photo.
On her table Judy showed us many variations of the "covered box". So many sizes, shapes, functions and colours. She set the bar high and certainly gave us all so much to strive for.
Judy gave us lots of instruction (collective and individual) and encouragement and slowly box construction progressed. Some boxes were almost complete by the close of play.
It was a thoroughly informative and enjoyable day. Well done and thank you Judy.
Report and photos by Linda W
Thank you Linda, Ros.
David Birks from Trowbridge Museum started the new year off with his talk entitled “1000 years of Warp and Weft”. He is the Learning and Outreach Officer for the museum which is closed for redevelopment until August 2020.
David started his talk by asking why the area of West Wiltshire (Trowbridge, Westbury and Bradford on Avon) was so important to the wool trade. We had downland for the sheep, rivers to wash the wool and later to power the machinery, and a good supply of Fullers Earth clay which was important in the finishing of cloth. Initially it was a local trade whereby white woollen cloth was woven and dyed and also raw wool was exported to Europe.
We were shown a basic loom with the warp threads weighed down with blocks which was superseded by the horizontal loom in the 12thC - this had a 7 year apprenticeship to learn the skill. By the mid 15thC it became a regional trade with a wool mark of quality issued by an Aulnager and clothiers responsible for the complete process from raw wool to cloth. Merino wool was introduced from Spain and this was mixed with English wool to produce checks, stripes and patterns. In the 17thC cloth workers from the continent brought new techniques and equipment
By the mid 18thC Georgian money-saving inventions were introduced - the Spinning Jenny, Slubbing Billy, Carding machines and Scribbling Horse. This was a period of industrial unrest as workers worried about losing their jobs due to these new inventions. At the beginning of the 19thC clothiers became very wealthy and the Kennet & Avon Canal was constructed to enable coal to be brought economically from Somerset. In 1860 the wool industry was at its peak. During wartime military cloth was produced for all sides involved but the industry lost out eventually to Scotland, Yorkshire and the continent ending locally in 1982. One of the last orders was for Mary Quant in the 1970s.
David concluded his talk by reading us the fines which were administered to the workers in the factories. They were a high proportion of the workers wages and appeared most unjust by our modern day standards.
Early each December we all enjoy a “bring and share” buffet lunch to start the festivities of Christmas.
This is always a memorable event with a wonderful spread of delicious goodies. After the meal we have a surprise speaker and this year Lynda Warren entertained us with her talk entitled, “He’s Behind You”!
From the title you can probably guess that Lynda Warren talked about pantomime. Lynda’s background is in the theatre where she worked at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon first in the publicity and then in the costume department. She still works full time giving educational talks about the theatre, film and television.
She explained that pantomime first started in ancient Greece then came to Italy and France arriving in the UK in the 16th century. Lynda talked about Grimaldi, the Harlequin and the commedia dell’arte.
Over the years the characters have remained the same with the principal girl dressing as a prince and men dressing as dames. Modern pantomime has become very popular with television actors and pop stars taking the leading roles in traditional fairy tale stories – Dick Whittington, Jack & the Beanstalk, Aladdin, to name but a few.. A performance of singing, dancing, slapstick and jokes has entertained all ages of a family for years. There is always a background of good versus evil with the good fairy arriving on the stage from the right and the villain from the left. Audience participation has always been encouraged and the finale is usually a glamorous wedding or something similar.
Report and photos by Ros
Our November Stitch day was lead by Ann Smith when she guided members to make bespoke Christmas cards using printed papers. What a fun day and just look below at some of the fantastic results!
Thank you Ann for a great day.
Report & photos by Ros
Several years later he returned with a wife, Wendy, who made dolls and puppets and she asked Lydie to make clothes for them. One thing lead to another and Lydie ended up dressing puppets and dolls for various projects including Prince Charles, Princess Ann and Mark Phillips for Spitting Image and a large chicken for a Paxo advert. She also made dolls for Jim Henson based on his film Dark Crystal.
Lydie moved away so this initial career came to an end. She then went on to follow a Diploma in Stitched Textiles at Windsor and teach embroidery. She is currently a member of the South West Textile Group exhibiting all over the country.
Lydie was a very generous speaker as she showed us many examples of her work and explained in detail their construction. The "When I grow old I will wear purple" puppet and the "7 deadly sins" dolls were my favourites.
Report and photos by Ros
Linda Miller spent two days with branch members in early October teaching her technique of free machine embroidery. Here are some photos taken by Vernice during the event.
Here are some of the wonderful results.
Photos by Vernice and Ros
After the formal AGM our October speaker was Branch Member, Vernice Church. Last year Vernice was invited to go on a 19 day textile tour of India.
She started her talk by showing us a map of India and explained her journey starting in Delhi, moving on into Utter Pradesh, then Rajasthan and ending in Gujarat. Images of tuk tuks, motorbikes transporting families, unusual doors, windows, buildings, ladies in colourful saris and animals gave us an insight into a country with a completely different culture to our own. Many of the photos showed amazing textures, shapes and colours which could be used as inspiration for textile projects.
Vernice then showed us the various styles and techniques of the tribes in the different states she visited - Bandhani, Banjara, Shisha, Rabari, Sujani, Phulkari and Applique. They all used vibrant colours but each was very different.
The group tour started in Delhi, where they were shown the main sights, then moved south to Agra and one of the highlights of Vernice’s tour was an early morning visit to the Taj Mahal. They then continued to Jaipur, the pink city, where they had an elephant ride up to the Amber Fort, visited the Anokhi Hand Block Printing Museum, watched a cookery demonstration and attended a block printing workshop. There was a lot of retail therapy and Vernice showed us wonderful throws, books and souvenirs of her holiday. En route to Jodpur they visited the Chippa Community in the town of Bagru to see their Dying and Block Printing processes. Vernice concluded this first part of her talk by telling us about her visit to Jodpur, the blue city, where she visited the Mehrangarth Fort.
We now look forward to the second instalment of Vernice's trip when she visits Udaipur and then moves into Gujarat, the home of textiles in India.
Report and photos by Ros
Information in this blog is provided by branch members who have attended the meeting, workshop or event.
Marlborough & District Branch is a member of the Embroiderers' Guild, the UK's leading crafts association
* The Embroiderers' Guild website -https://embroiderersguild.com/
* The Guild Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/embroiderersguild/
* The Guild Pinterest pages - https://uk.pinterest.com/theembroiderers/
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