Tuesday, 5 May 2009


Diane Bates – what a character! Wearing her signature black hat and exhibiting her ‘Babes in Beads’ installations, she entertained our April meeting with stories of her childhood and education.

Then she described how her corsets, costumes and panels are created in intricate 3-dimensional machine embroidery, encrusted with beads and sequins. Often Diane incorporates unlikely materials such as plastic snowflakes and combines them with quality Madeira threads to create her special effects.

None of Diane’s work is ever sold and she does not take commissions as she believes they would be too restricting. Much of her inspiration comes from the natural world and she stressed the importance of revisiting old artwork and embroidery to combine previous ideas with new techniques.

At the website www.175heroes.org.uk/diane_bates.html there is information about Diane’s 34-year career in teaching at Bradford School of Art, her qualifications gained at Goldsmith College and Birmingham and her international exhibitions.

Some of Diane’s exquisite drawings and embroidery samples

Photos and examples from Diane’s costume creations

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