Friday, 20 February 2009

February Meeting

Woven Textures

Weaver Stacey Harvey-Brown brought her ‘Textural Canvas’ to our February meeting. Heaping samples of wool, silk, cotton and synthetic weavings onto her demonstration table, she enthusiastically talked us through her experiments.

Texture and surface pattern are created using special weaving techniques, the natural properties of yarns, plus the services of a washing machine and tumble dryer or in other words differential shrinkage! Stacey then dyes and paints some of her fabrics to create stunning landscape pictures and seascapes. On her website ( she explains that she combines multi-shaft or jacquard weaving, wrapping, dyeing, painting and surface embellishments.

The rich colours and textures of the fabrics are amazing.

Stacey uses the natural colours and textures of yarns as well as dyes to achieve stunning effects.

As soon as Stacey finished speaking, members crowded round to touch and feel the fabric samples.

January Meeting

Travels in Turkey

Our speaker at the January meeting was branch member Carole Biggs, whose skilled photography and entertaining talks have taken us to many exotic places over the years. Carole’s ‘Travels in Turkey’ took her on a round trip starting and ending in Istanbul that was packed with history and interest. Her slides showed us mosques, minarets, bazaars and palaces, a vast salt lake, volcanic tuff, 9th Century rock churches and dwellings, Roman remains and temples. Such inspiration for embroideries and textiles!

Needless to say, Carole couldn’t resist bringing home some goodies. They included pictures, a length of silk, leather bags, onyx beads, a pendant, hats made from hand-made felt and a minutely embroidered boy’s cap.

Carole modelling a Turkish stole and pendant.

Forthcoming textile events

Richard de Peyer, director of The Silk Museum, Macclesfield, attended our January meeting to bring us up-to-date with textile events in the town and surrounding areas:

- The Three Shires Textile Festival – backed by tourist organisations and councils across Cheshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire – promises a whole range of textile-related events between 4 and 19 July. More information is available on the website.

- ‘The Embroiderer’s Eye’ exhibition (11 April to 4 July at The Silk Museum) and accompanying book will feature items from artist and designer Diana Springall’s collection.

- ‘Dye, Print, Stitch’ an exhibition of textiles by Thomas and Elizabeth Wardle follows (11 July to 31 October).

- ‘Colour and Texture in Needlework’ is a day school to be held at the Heritage Centre, Macclesfield on Saturday 4 July. High profile speakers include Diana Springall, Kaffe Fassett, Alistair MacLeod and Edwina Ehrmann. Bookings are already being taken (phone 01625 612045) and the £34 ticket includes buffet lunch and entrance to the Diana Springall exhibition.

- ‘Textile and the Arts and Crafts Movement’, also at the Heritage Centre, takes place on Friday 17 July. Tickets are £19 and include tea, admission to Dye, Print and Stitch, plus presentations by authors Barrie and Wendy Armstrong, Standen National Trust steward Caroline Soles and Brenda King, author and scholar.