Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Trip to see Four Tragic Tales at the MAC

We are trying to pick the best date to see Stuart Easton's Four Tragic Tales textile exhibition at the MAC, and so I've set up a Doodle poll to pick. If you would like to join us, please follow this link, enter your name, and tick all the options of dates you can do.



Hope you can join us!

- Heather

Monday, 30 January 2012

What's On In February 2012

Some upcoming events around Birmingham:


Within The Guild:


Monday February 13th - A Tale Of Two Members;  Janet Molloy and Jacqui Thompson (a member of the Solihull branch) share their journey through textiles, from embroidery as a child to their latest pieces of work.

Jacqui is currently in the middle of a fine arts degree with an emphasis on embroidery.  She is the 'professional', Janet classes herself as 'the amateur', though we feel she is a very talented embroiderer. Both Janet and Jacqui will be telling their embroidery journeys illustrated along the way with pieces we have made and explaining the inspirations that have led us to our current positions. 

If you've been thinking of coming to the Guild for a while, this would be a good first session, as it will be friendly and interesting, a good opportunity to meet members, and hopefully make some new friends who share a love of embroidery.


Elsewhere:


February


Friday 3rd February - Lost in Lace Conference at Birmingham Museum (£40, including lunch). A panel of artists, architects and scientists will consider how they have been inspired by the aesthetics, techniques and cultural associations of lace.
Monday 13th February - Family Textiles at the MAC (£12.50 for one child and one adult, £7.50 for each additional person).  As a family, work together to explore techniques such as batik, screen-printing, feltmaking and embroidery to create pieces of art to share at home.


Monday 13th to Tuesday 14th February - Thrift and Alchemy at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (£103). Explore various approaches in stitch, fabric and recycled materials to create your own mixed media artwork. Stephanie is doing a talk and a workshop with Birmingham Guild later in the year.


Saturday 25th February to Saturday 7th of April - Introduction to Screenprinting at the MAC (£42) a six week long course going through the basics of screenprinting for textiles. I (Heather, blog maintainer) have been on the breakdown screenprinting course at the MAC taught by Emma, and I can thoroughly recommend it. She is also teaching this course, so it should be very good.


If you know of any other places around Birmingham that run textiles exhibitions, talks or workshops, please let me know!

Embroiderers' Guild Members Challenge 2012/13

The Embroiderers Guild are running a national members challenge, taking a 'Parrots and Grapes' panel from the Guild collection as their inspiration:
The panel was stitched in 1900, and includes beautiful satin stitch, chain stitch and soft shading comprised of skilfully placed straight stitches. he challenge is to work a piece of embroidery inspired by the panel, along one of the below themes or categories:

Themes - Members who feel they would like to create a piece based on their interpretation of a theme may wish to select one of three themes below. These entries will be assessed on artistic interpretation.  
Flight - The judges will look for a sense of lightness and movement.
A covering or lid - The judges will look for function and practicality.
Mirror image - The judges will look for precision of the mirror image or a shift that extends the story.

Categories- Members  who are seeking a greater challenge should base their entry on one of the six categories below. These categories are more likely to appeal to more confident embroiderers and will be  assessed on design and technical merit.
A detailed booklet on the development of their piece must accompany their entry.
Art Nouveau - Notice the foliage and characteristics of art nouveau in all its different forms. The judges will look for the essence of art nouveau, for example flowing lines and colouring.
Birds - Notice the exotic birds... Are they imaginary or real? The judges will look for your representation of exotic birds with an emphasis on movement rather than a static portrayal
Vines and Leaves - Notice the tendrils and how they grow together forming a protective Canopy over the arches. The judges will look for your interpretation of protection and canopies.
Arches - Notice the support of the roof or canopy; how light is let in and the creation of silhouettes. The judges will look for your interpretation of structures, self-supporting and supported. 
Strap work - Notice the binding that creates strength, tension and springing. The judges will look for dynamic images, bursting with life, intertwining but not constraining.
Shading - Notice the shading that gives form and sense of movement. Notice the blend of colours. Judges will look for your choice of threads and the quality of your stitching.

For more information, see this PDF, and if you enter a piece, please let us know!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Polish Rhapsody Day School

We're really loooking forward to welcoming Angela Thompson to Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild on Saturday 31st of March. She will be teaching a Polish Rhapsody Day School.


Jane Polish Jacket front

Polish embroidery is a treasure trove of exuberant stitchery. The designs for this day course are based on the traditional stitches, originally worked onto the wool-felt jackets and trousers worn by the men, and the fitted, sleeveless waistcoats worn by the women.  A few years ago, Angela joined a group of embroiderers on a textile study tour of southern Poland, where members were lucky to spend three days learning the art from a local embroidery tutor, while a more recent visit to Poland with the Textile Society, gave an opportunity to explore Museum collections

In the workshop we will be adding stitch worked freely over slubbed or textured yarns first applied to the background or already incorporated with the felt work.  This will give a highly textural effect to the finished work.  The textured yarns are stitched down by hand, or if you prefer, with the use of the Embellishing Machine.

Day Schools cost £25 - if you are interested in booking, please email birminghamembroiderersguild@gmail.com.


Class requirements:
  • A choice of two pieces of background fabric that can be of purchased felt, or your own hand-made felt, not less than 8 inches (20cm) square, or A4 size if preferred.
  • Alternatively, use one of your dye-decorated or printed pieces worked in previous day-schools.
  • Iron-on-Vilene the same size as your backing fabrics
  • A toning combination of slubbed, textured or fancy knitting yarns for couching
  • A selection of stranded embroidery threads in a variety of colours and any Perle threads nos.12, 8 and 5 you already have
  • Sewing cotton or synthetic thread to tone with your textured yarns
  • A few small beads and sequins to decorate the finished item
  • Usual sewing tools including embroidery scissors and a thimble if you use one
  • Different sizes of sewing and embroidery needles, including chenille needles.
  • A stitch book if you have one
  • A notebook and pencil
  • Camera (optional) Images for personal study use only.
Space-dyed thread-packs, courtesy of Jane Davies, will be for sale if required

Monday, 23 January 2012

Lost in Lace at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Yesterday, after a lovely coffee and cake, several members of Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild went to have a look round the Lost In Lace exhibition at Birmingham Museum.


First, we stopped off at the Concealed and Revealed exhibition, on the bridge Gallery. This featured items from BMAG's own collection of lace artifacts, paintings and a lace pillow. We were fascinated by all the beautiful and intricate lace on show, and were grateful to Anne, who talked us through the lacemaking process.


We then went down to the Gas Hall, which was full of large scale, very impressive, and sometimes slightly intimidating pieces of work.


Lacing Space


Moucharabieh Jardin de lit, lit de jardin 1


After The Dream


I particularly liked Forty Eight by Nils Volker, who had constructed pillowcase-like bags out of Tyvek, and set them up so that they gently inflated and deflated in sequences. It was mesmerising, and haunting, like watching someone sleeping:



The other piece which we loved was Tamar Frank's A Thin Line Between Space And Matter, which was a lot of fine threads constructed like the pin patterns we'd made as children, except in three dimensions, inside a dark room, lit by colour changing LEDs. The curved shapes made by the lines changed as you walked around the piece. It was rather a spooky experience:

 A Thin Line Between Space and Matter 4





All in all, it was a very enjoyable day out, and lovely to look round the exhibition with likeminded people who share our interest in textiles.


Next time, we are planning to go to the Back to Backs - leave a comment here or come and find me at a guild meeting if you'd like to come along.

- Heather

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Trip to Lost in Lace today

Lost in Lace: New approaches by UK and international artists

Members of Birmingham guild are off to BMAG to have a look around the (free!) Lost In Lace exhibit today. We're meeting in the museum tea rooms at 1 if you want to join us.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

What's on in January & February 2012

Some upcoming events around Birmingham:


Within The Guild:
Sunday January 22nd - trip to see Lost In Lace at Birmingham Museum. Meet in the Museum tea rooms at 1pm for a cuppa, then off for a look round this fabulous (and free!) exhibition.


Monday February 13th - A Tale Of Two Members two members of Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild share their journey through textiles, from embroidery as a child to their latest work.


Elsewhere:
January
Tuesday 17th - In Conversation with Boys who Sew at the MAC (free, booking required). As this is today you'll have to be quick to get in, but it looks very interesting - a talk with men who've taken up the needle and thread, including Mr X Stitch.


Until Sunday 22nd January - Four Tragic Tales at the MAC (free entry). An exhibition of hand embroidery on digitally printed fabric by Stuart Easton, to illustrate Four Tragic Tales of his own creation.

Sunday 29th January - Myths and Legends (family event) at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (£6 per child). Make a figure from fantasy using textiles. With guidance from Ros, children can learn how to stitch a template, such as a mermaid, unicorn or dragon, to a fabric background and embellish with stitching and decorations.


Monday 13th February - Family Textiles at the MAC (£12.50 for one child and one adult, £7.50 for each additional person).  As a family, work together to explore techniques such as batik, screen-printing, feltmaking and embroidery to create pieces of art to share at home.

Monday 13th to Tuesday 14th February - Thrift and Alchemy at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (£103). Explore various approaches in stitch, fabric and recycled materials to create your own mixed media artwork. Stephanie is doing a talk and a workshop with Birmingham Guild later in the year.

Saturday 25th February to Saturday 7th of April - Introduction to Screenprinting at the MAC (£42) a six week long course going through the basics of screenprinting for textiles. I (Heather, blog maintainer) have been on the breakdown screenprinting course at the MAC taught by Emma, and I can thoroughly recommend it. She is also teaching this course, so it should be very good.

If you know of any other places around Birmingham that run textiles exhibitions, talks or workshops, please let me know!

Friday, 13 January 2012

New posters

We have new posters to put up in craft shops and cafes. They're gorgeous!

Can you think of anywhere that would put an A4 poster up for us? If so, please leave a comment.

Thank you to PPDG's Marketing Department for their Fab design work.


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Programme of Events and Workshops 2012

The year started well with last night's 'New Beginnings' workshop, and we have some fabulous meetings lined up for the rest of the year: 
  • February 13th - A Tale of Two Members
  • March 12th - From Angora to Yak with Tereshina Roberts
  • March 31st - Polish Rhapsody Day School with Angela Thompson
  • April 23rd - Inspiration on your doorstep with Angie Hughes - Angie says " As a student I found it hard to find the time to gather ideas for design so I used my local environment, architecture, poets and artists as insiration. In this illustrated lecture I will show my methods translating ideas into textile art. "
  • May 14th - Members Workshop
  • June 11th - Gargoyles, Ghosts and Gravestones with Annette Emms
  • July 9th - Summer Party, My Colourful Life in Textiles with Bailey Curtis
  • August - no meeting
  • September 10th - Members Workshop
  • September 29th - Image Transfer Day School with Annette Emms
  • October 8th - Branch AGM and Themes and Threads with Stephanie Redfern
  • November 12th - Great Grandma's Workbox with Felicity Howartson
  • November 24th - Simple Shapes, Simple Stitches, Experiments with Pattern Day School with Stephanie Redfern
  • December 10th - Group Activity
If you've been thinking about doing some embroidery for a while, or contemplated joining the Guild, hopefully there will be something above to take your fancy. Visitors are welcome to attend two sessions at the price of £4 per session, and then membership is £37 for the year (September to August, paid pro-rata). Day schools are £25 per workshop, if you would like to book onto a day school, please email birminghamembroiderersguild@gmail.com for more information.

We hope to see you soon!

Monday, 9 January 2012

January Meeting

This evening's meeting was a group brainstorming session on the theme of Our Industrial Heritage. It was also the first session with both the former afternoon and evening members meeting together. The session had a lovely atmosphere, with members chatting and enjoying the PowerPoint presentation that Marion had brought, with photos of the past few years of guild events. Lots of people brought photos, books, leaflets and prior textiles work to share, and the session generated lots of good ideas about various aspects of the theme, including canals, pen, button and coin manufacturing industries, the architecture, and the appearance of the steam engines themselves.

Next month's session is A Tale Of Two Members, including Janet Molloy, who is already going through her embroidery, including some pieces from her childhood.

January Guild Meeting - Tonight

Just a quick reminder that January's guild meeting is tonight at the Friends Meeting House, Cotteridge. It is the first evening-only meeting, and we'll be working on ideas for embroidery inspired by a theme of Our Industrial Heritage, as that is the theme for this year's competition at the regional day in summer.

See you there!