It was with much trepidation we began our 2019 AGM. Last year Abi Stonehouse took on the post of Chair, but her life has recently been overtaken by taking up a full time teaching post. We all were so grateful for her time as Chair, and totally understood why she could not continue. Full time teaching is no picnic!
We are looking down the barrel of no Chair and the prospective folding of the group, so imagine our relief when Jenny Ashford volunteered to take on the role for a year. Thank you very much Jenny, we are so grateful.
Another change to the committee is that Deirdre Mitchell is taking on the role of Secretary. Mike Wallace, should have finished his 3 year position of Treasurer, but he has agreed to stand for another year. Gwyneth Allen took over Programme Secretary part way through this year and she has agreed to continue.
The competition was a great success with amazing entries for the depiction of a book title in stitch. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos, but the entry chosen as their favourite was Helen Dowedswell’s Girl with a Dragon Tattoo.
Members had brought some of their work for others to see. It was enjoyable to see work otherwise hidden at home!
What fun we had! Liz Mullenger, ably assisted by Helen Sill had planned the Summer School so that we were able to try various techniques to transform plain white fabric into colourful works of art. The first challenge was ice dyeing where we covered our fabric with ice cubes and then sprinkled procion dye powder over it in colours we liked. As the ice gradually melted, it took the dye through the fabric with magical results.
The second day we washed out the dye and were delighted with the results!
We tried flour paste resist, painting with dye onto fabric, and used soya wax to create a resist before painting the created spaces with dye.
The second day we mainly concentrated on the Shibori method of resist, followed by dyeing the pieces in Indigo dye. Here are some of our beautiful handiwork.
As you can see we had a busy two days but we were very pleased with the results.
In July we were delighted to welcome back Sharon Hurst who regaled us with a deeply personal talk on how how her professional interest in both textiles and painting had helped her survive very difficult times.
She has travelled to so many places sharing her expertise, and encouraging others in our wonderful artistic world. her latest triumph is a TV programme – how far and what circles Sharon has achieved! Just two of Sharons amazing works of art.
Pamela gave us a fascinating talk about the Arts and Crafts Movement in Russia. Intrigue about the subject was awakened when her husband was sent to Moscow professionally with his work at the British Council. She was fascinated by the traditional even weave white linen with mostly red stitches. Some centres recognised the beauty of these garments and household textiles, and carried on the tradition.
Pamela explained that the fashion for huge exhibitions prompting elaborate structures, and the works exhibited there often ignored their rich history and tradition.
It seems that the beautiful “peasant ” works of technical artistry were over looked when it came to exporting their textiles, or selling to the emerging tourist industry.
Pamela told us about the museum in Halifax where the mayor who had worked in Russia and seen the beautiful traditional and practical embroidered garments wanted to display examples of Russian textiles. A fellow councillor was about to visit Russia and was tasked to purchase examples to be displayed in their new museum. On his return, his purchases proved to be a disappointing pile of tourist standard work. Apparently they have mainly been consigned to the Museum store and not displayed.
For more information about Pamela’s research go to her site: http://www.drawnground.co.uk
|For our April meeting Liss in Stitches had the pleasure of Michele Carragher coming to speak about her work as an artist and embroiderer for film and TV.
Many will recognise her work from Elizabeth I, Game of Thrones as well as other productions. Her work amazed us all – the research, planning and execution of the most stunning hand embroidery. Michele explained about the challenges of working on film and TV sets – getting used to tough deadlines and horrors of horrors the scenes being cut from the film!
We were equally delighted to have 48 visitors join us for the talk, including several students. Find out more about her stunning work at her website.