Liz explained that many years ago she chose rocks and stones as her topic for a City and Guilds course. During this time she also became interested in lichens and, although she has diversified considerably, Liz is well known for her circle in square designs using lichens as inspiration. Liz handed round a wonderful selection of her work and it was interesting to see her lichen design created using different techniques and materials. They included applique and reverse applique, free machine embroidery, hand stitched French knots, hand dyed fabrics, varying colour combinations and multi media.
Liz enjoys poetry and regularly includes text in her work. She loves experimenting with fonts and her son has created a font for her in the shape of a leaf.
In 2006 Liz was awarded the Charles Henry Foyle award for Stitched Textiles. Her work was entitled “On to the Eastward” and was her interpretation of a maelstrom.
Liz gives talks, has had articles printed in various publications, has been an artist in residence at Nature in Art and has exhibited her work at the Festival of Quilts and around the country. She is a member of the Contemporary Quilters Guild and showed us examples of a monthly challenge to create a journal quilt.
Thank you Liz for a wonderfully enthusiastic talk and for generously sharing your techniques.
Report and photos by Ros
Nikki is a talented artist in so many disciplines and the Guild is fortunate to have her as a member. We could not be anything but inspired by the breadth of her passions and skills, she in turn is inspired by artists such as Van Gogh, Klimt, Monet, Gaudi, Lautrec, the pre Raphaelites, and nature, history, birds and colour. Nikki showed us an amazing array of her work of embroidery, enamelling, silver-smithing, stained glass, furniture painting, upholstery and needle felting.
In amongst all this Nikki's uses recycled materials to dazzling effect in her multi media works such as her crown made for this year’s entry to the Madeira Competition. Last year she was competition winner with her beautifully imagined 'Mary Poppins' carpet bag. She is rightly proud of her ability to recycle and reuse.
Nikki seems to be able to turn her artistic talent to almost anything as well as doing her bit to save the planet. Thank you from the members of the Guild for giving us a glimpse into the amazing world of Nikki Vesey Williams.
Thank you Amanda R for your report and the photos.
I was so very sorry to have missed your talk Nikki, another time! Ros
Victoria’s father worked in the oil industry and she was brought up in Houston and Jakata where she discovered her love of batik. She followed a course to learn the various techniques and showed us examples of her work.
Victoria explained that batik is a traditional dye resist technique popular in Indonesia using wax. The wax can be applied in a number of different ways, a metal or wooden stamp or tumblock, usually done by men due to the weight of the stamp or the tulis method which uses a canting containing liquid wax to draw the image on the material. To remove the wax the material is soaked in boiling water.
Traditional dyes are used, barks and indigo as well as chemical dyes. Different types of salt are used to produce different shades and colours. Various types of wax are used including paraffin wax and gum from trees and this wax must be the right temperature otherwise it will not adhere to the cloth.
It was interesting to discover that designs and colours differed depending on where they were made, the market they were targeting or sometimes the Sultan would decide. Muslim designs tended to be subdued whereas Hindus’ designs were more free. The Garuda, which is a mythical bird in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions, has always been a very popular design and small dots are a seen on most Indonesian batik. The designs are passed down from one generation to the next and it was very encouraging to hear that the technique is very much alive.
Report and photos by Ros
Our day started with a demonstration from Jenny on how working herringbone stitch on the back of white organza could produce some wonderful effects. The group had a choice of three designs which had been drawn on the organza by Jenny prior to the workshop. The choices were a rose, a violet or a monogram.
Once everyone was happy with their Shadow Work technique on flowers and monograms Jenny showed the group the first embellishment to their work. This was how to create and sew eyelets. Every design had possibilities for eyelets. Then some people started to do the stems of their flowers.
The group then learnt how to attach a wide ribbon with a feather design. They were reminded by Jenny’s demonstrations how to attach using feather stitch, pin stitch and thorn stitch. Then it was time for lunch.
In the afternoon Jenny demonstrated further embellishments like how to attach a bobbin paper, sequins and stamps. The group were shown every process that they would need and the beautifully illustrated instruction books will be very useful. It was a wonderful day!
Here is the link to Jenny's website: www.jennyadin-christieembroidery.co.uk
Report and photos Jane S
Thank you Jane, Ros
Alison Hulme discovered stitch after a challenging event in her life. She first tried cross stitch and then silk ribbon embroidery and stump work. Alison joined the Salisbury Embroiderers Guild and went on to take City & Guilds at Fareham College. She worked as a volunteer at Eastleigh College and then she was encouraged to take a Degree Course in Stitched Textiles. Alison choose feet as her design topic and showed us examples of her work.
Alison now prints her own fabrics and makes them into aprons and bags. She gives talks and workshops to share her printing techniques.
Last year Alison exhibited at the Knitting and Stitch Show and she has tutored in France at a craft retreat.
We hope you will return sometime Alison as we would love to learn to make these wonderful fabrics.
Report and photos by Ros
We started the day with Val Toombes explaining the 4 undyed silks in our packs - mulberry which was white, tussah not as white as mulberry, gum silk, and throw silk which was curly, soft, and shiny. We made silk sheets by thinly placing the 4 silk layers between 2 layers of bridal net, then wetted with water and after that textile medium. This was put to dry.
We then used a variety of dyed silks placed again between 2 layers of bridal net, wetted as above the put to dry. Some very interesting and colourful designs were achieved!
In the afternoon we blew up a balloon and after coating it with textile medium we made bowls by placing silks in layers across and around it resembling bad hair day wigs! We then took these home to dry and pop.
An enjoyable day for everyone!
Report by Diana K and photos by Jackie B
Thank you both for sharing your day with everyone.
Our speaker this month was Val Toombes. She enjoyed drawing and needlework classes as a teenager and made her own clothes at the age of 12.
In the early days whilst working aboard, Val’s husband bought her a knitting machine and she went on to design patterns. In 1992 she did a machine embroidery course at Farnham College where she became a Bernina fan. She then graduated on to the City & Guilds course at Godalming.
Val’s main interest is silk and she uses it to make paper, scarves, dresses, jackets as well as 3D vessels. She explained that she learnt to dye 10 different colourways for use in her work and loves strong vibrant colours.
Val brought along a selection of her work on display mannequins and passed smaller items around the room for members to look at.
Val enjoys exhibiting her work enters competitions regularly all over the world. She talked about a recent exciting occasion when her work was chosen to be shown in the World of Wearable Art in Wellington, New Zealand. Val also mentioned exhibiting at Ramster Hall near Chiddingfold in Surrey.
A group of members will attend a workshop given by Val so watch out for the posting.
Report and photos by Ros
Congratulations from us all, Lindsay!
On Sunday at the Fashion and Embroidery Show at the NEC, branch member Lindsay S was the Visitors' Choice winner in the 2019 Madeira 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.
Nikki VW and Linda W also entered this competition and below is an image of Nikki's crown using recycled materials.
Thanks to Ann K and Nikki VW for photos
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
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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