Thursday, 22 March 2012

From Angora To Yak with Teresinha Roberts

On Monday the 12th of March, we welcomed Teresinha Roberts to speak to us about a whole range of animal fibres. She brought lots of samples, both of raw fibres, and of yarn, knitted and woven samples and items:

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A selection of samples from fibres from very old sheep breeds:
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A possom/shetland blend, which is lovely and soft. The possum is actually a pest in New Zeland, so the fibre has come from attempts to reduce the population there.
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A fibre with a strange origin - milk protein! It was really very soft and squishy.
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Teresinha has a wonderful presentation style, and the talk was marvellous, interesting and informative, but not too technical. We enjoyed finding out more about the history of many animals we had heard of before, and quite a few that were totally new to us.

For more information on Teresinha, see her website - Wild Fibres.

Monday, 12 March 2012

From Angora To Yak - Tonight

Just a little reminder that our talk from Teresinha Roberts, "From Angora to Yak" is tonight. See you there!

Webs and Wheels Requirements List

May's guild meeting will be a Members' Session, led by Janet Wright. She will be doing a practical workshop, entitled Webs and Wheels, and asks members to bring along the following items:


Requirements List
  • Backing Fabric – Any colour to tone with your choice of threads, cotton or linen preferred. Any size from 6 inches square to A 4 size.
  • Embroidery Hoop or support fabric e.g. thin felt or pound shop dusters.
  • Paper and pencil to sketch ideas
  • Variety of threads in your colour scheme e.g. stranded cotton, coton a broder, cotton perle, tapestry wools, etc. + needles and sewing kit
Janet is a very talented embroiderer who does beautiful hand stitching, and this promises to be an enjoyable session. The finished piece can be used as a sampler or made into a picture, box lid, book cover etc.


Craftster Hoopla Swap R4 To Kanawinkie (6)


Detail from seahorse embroidery (by Heather Ramsden) featuring woven spiders web, buttonhole wheels and cups, and whipped spiders web.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Four Tragic Tales/Made In The Middle

On Tuesday the 21st of February, several members of Birmingham Embroiderers Guild went to see Stuart Easton's Four Tragic Tales at the MAC. Stuart has created the work as part of his MA in Illustration and Animation at Coventry University.


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Stuart wasn't originally an embroiderer, and we felt that he brought an artist's eye to his work. One thing we commented on was that it felt like he knew when to stop stitching - several of us thought we would have probably sewed the entire piece, overcomplicating the work.

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His pieces all told interesting, though often thought provoking and disturbing tales of his own creation. They were several metres long, and the story was told in a progression across each piece.

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The pieces were accompanied by his line drawings, which were very interesting and detailed:

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While we were there, we also went to look around Made In The Middle, an exhibition of contemporary craft from midlands based makers.

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We were very pleased to see that one of the featured makers was Zoë Hillyard, who had come to speak to us last year about her ceramic patchwork vessels, which were the pieces featured in the exhibition.

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The exhibition included lots of interesting works in a wide range of forms, and we spent a very enjoyable time looking at all of them. Here's some more photos, just click the image to play the slideshow:


We're always interested in going to more textile/craft related events, so if you can think of somewhere you'd like to go, either leave a comment, or arrange a trip and let us know!

Our Industrial Heritage: Railway Images

I saw this slideshow on the BBC News website today, and thought that some of the images would make very good starting points for embroidery:

Railway Heritage Archive Images

It includes lots of beautiful images, like this detail of the end screen at Paddington Station:

All the gorgeous scrollwork would make a good starting point for stitch. At the moment they're a bit light on Midlands content, but undeniably the railways were a key part of the Industrial Revolution here in the Midlands.

To explore the whole archive, see the Network Rail website.