Tuesday, 28 February 2012

What's On In March 2012

Some upcoming events around Birmingham and the surrounding area:

Within The Guild:

Monday 12th March - From Angora to Yak; with Teresinha Roberts. Teresinha is a local textile artist who has travelled extensively, and will be sharing her experiences and bringing samples of a range of natural animal fibres for people to touch. See Wild Fibres for more info.

Saturday 31st March - Polish Rhapsody; day school with Angela Thompson



Saturday 17th March Kantha Stitches at Wolverhampton Arts Gallery (£12, booking required). A chance to learn the ancient skill of Kantha. Originating from Bengal, this hand embroidery technique uses layers of fine materials to create beautiful designs.

Wednesday 28th Month Textile Group Show and Tell at Bilston Craft Gallery (£2). Share knowledge, skills, and ideas with other makers whilst working on personal projects.

Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th March Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch, Hobbycrafts and Sewing for Pleasure shows at The NEC (£11.50). A fabulous set of shows, with workshops, inspirational exhibitions and plenty of shopping. Not to be missed!

Saturday 31st March until 2nd September Style Africa at Birmingham Museum (Free exhibition). A collaborative exhibition exploring Africa's rich cultural textile heritage.


Wednesday 4th April Designer Aprons at Bilston Craft Gallery (£35, booking required). Create a practical apron with useful pockets. Learn basic machine-sewing techniques and experiment with applique or printing.

If you know of any other places around Birmingham that run textiles exhibitions, talks or workshops, or if you attend one of these events and would like to do a writeup for the blog, please let me know!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

A Tale Of Two Members - February 2012

For our 'A Tale Of Two Members' session, we welcomed Janet Molloy, the Birmimgham branch chairman, and Jacqui Thompson, a member of the Solihull branch of the Embroiderers' Guild, to speak about their journey through embroidery and recent works.

Jacqui told us about her childhood, sewing to earn pocket money, and how, after a long break from crafts, she had taken up embroidery as part of her first year on a Fine Art foundation course with Solihull College.

She has drawn her inspiration from domestic and feminist themes, stitching witty and thought provoking statements and images onto household textiles, including bedlinen, teatowels and aprons:


The stitching reads "I have seen the holy grail - the bottom of the laundry basket. it's overrated" and "Help, I'm permanently awash with laundry. It's everywhere, either drying or waiting to be ironed or waiting to be put away. Will I ever get to the point where there is no laundry?" and in the background is her washing machine with options for "Pre-menstrual", "Washed out" and "Water retention", among others


This piece was stitched onto an apron, and includes a comment about how Jacqui knows every nook and cranny of her toilet. For more photos of Jacqui's work, see this slideshow, just click on the image to start it:

To stay up to date with Jacqui as she wortks through her Fine Arts degree, you can read her blog at http://www.jacquithompson.blogspot.com/.

The second person to share her stitching with us was our own chairman, Janet Molloy. Janet was taught to embroider by her family, and also learned at school. She brought along a lovely apron that she had sewn as a child.


Janet then took a long break from embroidery, only returning some 20 years ago when she discovered some kits on holiday. After a while, she joined the Embroiderers' Guild, which allowed her to attend lots of different day schools. Janet brought lots of pieces she had worked at these sessions, and ones using the skills learned there, including this lovely one of the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough:


Janet also brought along this beautiful piece which she designed, based on a celtic inspiration sourcebook. It is very complex and took a long time to stitch. It was featured in a magazine, something which Janet is, quite rightly., very proud of:


For more photos of Janet's work, see this slideshow, just click on the image to start it:

This was a brilliant session. For me, it was wonderful to be able to see the work of someone pursuing embroidery as fine art, especially when they are as talented and easy to listen to as Jacqui, and it was lovely to be able to find out more about another member of our own branch; it was inspirational to see how Janet had used all the knowledge and skills acquired through guild workshops.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Four Tragic Tales - 21st February

Further to the earlier blog post, we've decided that we are going to look round Four Tragic Tales on Tuesday the 21st of February, meeting at the MAC at 7pm on the 21st? We'll get together in the seating area at the bottom of the staircase. Feel free to join us, and to bring any friends or family who would like to come along.