Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Gargoyles, Ghosts and Gravestones with Annette Emms

This Monday, Annette Emms came to speak to us about her fascination with churches, and all the marvellous embroidery that this has inspired. She brought along many samples of beautiful, richly textured embroidery, with both hand and machine stitching, including her delightful books.

Annette describes herself as a storyteller, and this really comes through in her work. She has stitched lots of books, sharing legends from the areas she has visited, including this lovely book about well dressing. It includes a dress for the water goddess, lovely flowers and bunting:

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Annette makes quite a lot of books which have smaller books tucked inside them, one of which is her book telling the tale of the Mordiford Dragon, and Maud the fairy.

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As well as creating a book about the dragon story, she also created Maud's book of dragon lore, and her fairy slippers, both of which fit into sections at the front and back of the main book. I found all these secret extra treasures fascinating; they really show the delight Annette takes in creating things:

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Annette took us on a journey around churches she has known and loved in Herefordshire, Wales and Cornwall, sharing the embroidery she created inspired by each place, including these lovely angels from a headstone in Cornwall:

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Annette also makes lots of lovely embroideries with backgrounds of beautiful soft felt and scrim, in gorgeous colours. Her method for making the angels is featured in the current issue (77) of Stitch Magazine.

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She has used similar methods to do these beautiful pieces, inspired by a children's poem...

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...and a book to answer the question "What do moonbeams do during the day?", posed by her granddaughter:

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Annette's talk was not only full of examples of her wonderful embroidery; she also shared many funny tales about her adventures, and also told us more about her techniques, including making fabric paper. It was a fabulously enjoyable session, and we are now really looking forward to her workshop in September, where she will be sharing her image transfer techniques.

For more I took pictures of Annette's work, see the Flickr slideshow, and check out her website for more information, including her blog. You can also buy the pattern for her lovely pixie boots at her Etsy shop.

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