Creativity in Embroidery Art Workshop – January 13th

Creativity in Embroidery Art Workshop – January 13th

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Join me in January for my next workshop!

Suitable for students with some hand-embroidery experience looking to extend their skills or ready to plan their own projects, this class focuses on preparation and will give you the confidence and skills to turn your ideas into original art. Maybe you have only completed embroidery kits, or other’s designs so far. Or maybe you’ve mastered one technique – like cross stitch – and now want to push out into other techniques. Or maybe you’ve simply got a burning desire to embroider mushrooms and don’t know where to start! This is the class for you.

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In this workshop we will examine how I bring an idea through to realisation in stitch, in 4 stages: Conception, development, planning and pattern transfer. In the morning we will begin with group discussion of your ideas and take a look at some of my embroidered art work – from initial sketches to completion. Then we will begin working on drawings and designs and approach relating these to techniques.

After lunch we will examine all the different materials I use in my textile art and how each could be used in your design. We will look at fabric, threads, embellishments and tools, and use the afternoon to develop a stitch plan which will include a good investigation into the various ways of transferring patterns.

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Students will get the most out of this class if they come prepared with a clear idea of the piece they want to work on, as this will provide the focus of the day.

Everything you need will be available to use in class but feel free to bring your own sketchbook if you use one, and any reference materials or materials you would wish to use in your embroidery.

As a self-taught artist, ultimately this day is about inspiring confidence in your own abilities to be empowered in your own creativity, and overcome any fears or hesitations you may have.

This 4 hour workshop takes place at SEWMANCE, a community space dedicated to bringing creatives from Brighton and beyond, together to explore.
SEWMANCEhome, The Crypt, St George’s Church, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 IED.

Places are very limited and cost £65 each.

Contact me to book, or book through my Facebook page here.

 

Upcoming Exhibitions, Workshops and Commissions

Upcoming Exhibitions, Workshops and Commissions

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Lots of exciting news happening with me at Mother Eagle Towers.

First up, join me on 29th October in Worthing 10am-4pm for my Embellishment Workshop, where I will teach you the techniques to make one of three exclusive Halloweeny designs pictured above.

You will learn:

  • Felt padding
  • Applique
  • Embroidering over relief
  • French knots
  • Sequin techniques
  • Beading techniques
  • Wire wrapping
  • Plus lots of one-to-one coaching in applying your own creativity to textile design.

Suitable for all abilities, places are extremely limited and cost £75 which includes fabric, hoop, instructions, needles and use of my entire embellishment cache! Plus I can promise it will be a fun and informal day and there will be pumpkin themed snacks.

Contact me here to confirm your place!

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Exhibitions this Autumn

Catch pieces from my Ugly Gods series at Stitch-Up at Brush in Brighton from 19th September until 3rd October.

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I am also delighted to announce that you will be able to see the entire collection of Ritual Burials and Extinct Icons at ONCA Gallery in Brighton from 22nd November to 3rd December in the largest exhibition of my work to date. The event runs as part of the annual Remembrance day for Lost Species programme and promises to be a really dynamic and exciting curation of my work. The private view will be on the evening of 23rd November and I would invite you all to come along, I’d love to meet you.

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As part of the programme of events for this exhibition and Lost Species Day I will also be running a Hand Embroidery and Embellishment Masterclass on Saturday 25th November at ONCA from 10am-4pm (times TBC). The theme of the workshop is Pollinators and I will be teaching techniques used to make one of 2 designs – a beetle (see above) or a moth/butterfly.

The day will be an exclusive chance to have a private tour of the exhibition with me, and a close look and explanation of the techniques used in my work on display. We will then get down to business customising and creating your chosen design, and will cover:

  • Felt padding
  • Applique
  • Embroidering over relief
  • French knots
  • Turkey Rug work
  • Surface embroidery techniques
  • Couching
  • Sequin techniques
  • Beading techniques
  • Wire wrapping
  • Plus lots of one-to-one coaching in applying your own creativity to textile design.

This will be a special day for textile art enthusiasts and due to the very limited nature of the places available, all abilities are welcome as I will be able to give lots of one-to-one attention. Places are £75 and will include fabric, hoop, instructions, needles and use of my entire embellishment cache. There will also be a special goodybag for each attendee!

Contact me here to confirm your place!

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Last but not least!

After a hiatus of many years, commission slots are now available for purchase in my Etsy shop. Head on over there for all the details!

 

What next?

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So. What next. Being that we have recently had the astrological events of summer solstice (in the northern hemisphere) and a Super Moon, I thought at this mid point it would be good to take stock of where I am so far this year – Mother Eagle speaking.

It’s been nice now that the weather here is warm, to be ‘free’ of any embroidery commitments, and be able to do other things, projects, pottering around the house etc. But I have to say I have missed the focus that embroidery gives me and also quite relieved to find that I still feel this way!

Well, obviously prior to my last commission I was stitching away on my next collection, the (in hindsight) ambitiously dubbed Midsummer 2013 collection of 13 pieces. Thus far I have completed:

  • Oak (an acorn pendant)

  • Birch (brooch)

  • Crabapple (Pendant)

  • Mandrake (Pendant)

  • Hawthorn (brooch)

  • Henbane (brooch)

  • Willow (Brooch), and

  • started a Foxglove (was gonna be a Pendant but I did it too big so now will be a miniature framed piece – and I need to finish it)

I also promised to do:

  • Bee (Pendant)

  • Raven (Brooch)

  • Toad (Remake of the Pendant)

  • Stag (Remake of the Pendant)

  • Skeleton Hand (Pendant)

Considering we relocated, moved house, got new jobs etc etc. I guess it’s not too bad that I have done 7* pieces and a large commission so far. But I have to think: Am I really going to complete these 5 more pieces AND then get a winter collection of another 13 pieces in before christmas? 

Here’s what I wanted to do in the Winter collection:

  • Mistletoe (Pendant)

  • Holly (Brooch)

  • Ivy (Pendant)

  • Pine (cone – Pendant)

  • Arctic Hare (Re-do Pendant)

  • White Stag (Re-do Pendant)

  • Hedgehog (Brooch)

  • Yew (Pendant)

  • Femur (Brooch)

  • Ribcage (Remake of the Pendant)* already done this one

  • Elder (Brooch)

  • Mugwort (Pendant)

  • Deadly Nightshade (Pendant)

On the one hand at the moment I feel like I want to do familiar reworkings of old designs, but also I want to make sure I have some seasonal things ready for Christmas. I also feel a bit bored by stumpwork at the moment and want to do some flat work, focusing on the technique and the shape. So that’s what I’ll do: A Hare, a Stag, probably a Toad too. I also really want to do more wildlife again – Hedgehog and Badger appeal considering they are so threatened in Britain now.

It’s so luxurious to be able to have complete creative freedom and recognise what a gift that is.

I also just want to tell you that until the end of July you can get 20% off selected pieces exclusively in my NotonTheHighStreet shop. The March Hare and the Amethyst pendant have already sold out so make sure you have a look!

Birch – Herb Lore

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The Birch tree is a truly beautiful and very magical tree indeed. One of it’s folk names is ‘Lady of the Woods’, and it’s not much of a struggle to see that being silvery in appearance, it has lunar, and therefore feminine associations. In Tarot Birch corresponds to the Star, and also to Venus in planetary realms.

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Birch is a tree of strong Druidic Ogham associations and indeed it represents beginnings, and is the first Moon of the Celtic year (24th December – January 21st). It is one of the nine sacred woods of the beltane fire, and one of the three pillars of wisdom (Birch, Oak, Yew – also corresponding to the three ages of man).

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“Birch trees often have tree spirits attached to them and the “Lieschi” or “Genii of the Forest” are said to dwell in their tree tops. The Ghillie Dhu (pronounced “Gillee Doo or Yoo”) are guardian tree spirits who are disguised as foliage and dislike human beings. They prefer birch trees to all others, and jealously guard them from humans. If the spirit of the Birch tree touches a head it leaves a white mark and the person turns insane. If it touches a heart, the person will die.” – dutchie.org

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Birch twigs have been used to exorcise spirits by gently striking possessed people or animals, since the birch has purification abilities. The tree is also used for protection, particularly against lightening (it is sacred to Thor). The traditional witches broom is made of birch twigs, ash staff and willow binding and these were particularly powerful in magic.

Images from Wikipedia, sources Cunningham Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Dutchie.org, Druidry.org

Winter Solstice – Out with the old and in with the new.

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As I look out of my window I see not the world descending into fire and brimstone, not do I see rogue planets crashing into us. Not even alien saviours or horsemen of the apocalypse. Just rain.

The world has not literally ended. However, in my house on the winter solstice, I always like to remember what, in my book, this time of year is really all about. What our actual ancestors in this country did to mark this time of year (although midwinter rites are practiced all over the world in every country), and where many many Christmas traditions originate from.

Yuletide was about communities not being certain they would live through the winter, and certainly not that their animals and crops – their livelihood – would survive either. With the winter solstice being the longest night, marking this time by making offerings and being thankful when the dawn broke, marking the beginning of a new cycle of lengthening days, and light returning was an important point in the year. Many people starved between January and April so the Midwinter feast was about observances connected to giving thanks, hoping for regeneration, life-death-rebirth cycles.

So being as I am not believing in a Christian God, I see 25th December as a time to gather with my family and friends and let them know how much I love them. But it is the 21st December that I like to sit down and write a list of all the things I am happy to let go from the year, and all the things I want to achieve, change or gather to me in the following one.

When I look back at 2012, in many ways it was the most personally challenging year I can remember. I won’t list all the difficulties here but it has at times felt like one more bloody thing after another. But on the other hand I have had amazing gifts and opportunities.

As far as Mother Eagle is concerned, this has been 12 (13 really) months since giving up full time work and within that time I have refined and honed my style; Defined who I am as an artist, what my creative voice sounds like (still working on that though); Mother Eagle sprang forth from her magic tree as a fictional muse and creative narrative running through all my work and always inspiring me; I’ve stopped and restarted fresh; I’ve made new friends real and virtual (sometimes the same thing); I’ve made some money doing what I love; I’ve spent more money doing what I love; I’ve rested; I’ve stopped waking up with the weight of stress and fear on my chest; I’ve become closer to my family and deepened my friendships; adopted two beautiful, funny, sweet, naughty little Bengal kittens.

Life is good.

So here’s my list of things I will be striving for in 2013:

  1. Feel more confident to share my work with other people

  2. Make the national press – 1 craft related, 1 fashion related

  3. Have my collections stocked in 1 shop

  4. Have my work in 1 art show

  5. Create a great new studio

  6. Learn to ride a bike (really)

  7. Finish the year making a profit (or just breaking even)

  8. Create 2 new jewellery collections

  9. Do at least one course (maybe RCN)

  10. Rediscover my interest in cooking and do more exercise! (everyone says that don’t they?)

What are you reaching for next year?