Bryony Rose Jennings – February 2017


Bryony’s talk was entitled The Textile Menagerie and she describes herself as a Textile Sculptor and it is an apt description when you see the wonderful textile animals she creates and hear how she does it.

Coming from a family of artists, Bryony was always encouraged to create but her degree in silver jewellery making seems a far cry from the work she does now. Trips to India as a jewellery buyer led to an interest in antique fabrics especially saris and kantha work which Bryony began to collect. A seaside exhibition with a friend resulted in ‘Flossie’ a life size donkey made with old prices of wood for legs and a covering of scraps of old fabrics. Building and improving on this Bryony continued making life sized fabric animals using recycled textiles often furnishing fabrics, especially William Morris designs and velvets.

As mothers often sat their children on the larger figures Bryony realised they had to be strong so she uses cast iron rod, heavy duty sculpture wire and wood for the skeleton which is covered with sheeting and pillow filling is used to form muscle shape. This is then covered with scraps of fabric stitched in place, layering of textiles give the impression of feather on the birds. Duffle coat toggles carved down make a good beak, false eyelashes look very realistic on deer and false fingernails cut into strips make very convincing claws. All Bryony’s figures, ranging from birds, guinea pigs, dogs, pigs and deer are life size and have names usually suggested by the facial expression, tilt of head or attitude.  Hover your mouse pointer over the images below to discover the names of the animals!

Bryony gave workshops in Australia last year and is due to  return there next year and also to New Zealand to give more talks and workshops, she also manages to fit in classes in this country.
Bryony gave us a fascinating and informative talk; it was lovely to see some of her menagerie on screen and meet others in person.
Thank you to Christine Hill for this report and the lovely photos.  Ros

Nikki Vesey Williams – lampshade workshop – January 2017


On 23 January I  attended the Marlborough Embroiders Guild workshop on how to make a summer garden lampshade with our tutor Nikki Vesey-Williams.   Nikki was demonstrating the technique first created by Marna Lunt.

It was an extremely enjoyable day  with Nikki’s teaching being very relaxed and giving all sorts of useful tips about free machine embroidery, such as the appropriate needle for the type of thread used, how to ensure that the thread runs smoothly when running through the machine and also how to ensure that the bobbin is correctly tensioned or lessened off depending upon the texture that is wanted to achieve, amongst other useful details. 

Firstly we decided how tall we wanted our lampshades to be and also whether they would be used for a table lamp, or hung from a pendant light. This would then give an idea as to how we would have the inner workings of the lampshade set up. 

We used craft vilene for the base, then used green chiffon material in layers to form the base layer of the shade, giving the impression of grass, fields, hills etc 

These are bonded together with bondaweb. Once adhered together,  a yellow blow pen was used to give an impression of sunrise or sunset and a blue one to denote the sky at the top of the shade. 

Once the pen ink had dried, we could then set to using a variety of threads and free machine embroidery techniques on the sewing machine to make a set of grasses, foxgloves, daisies and cornflowers on our shades.  

As we did not want to rush this aspect of the embroidery, we were encouraged to develop the rest of this work at home when we had more time to devote to creating a beautiful work of art. 

Nikki then went on to demonstrate how we would then make up the shade using double sided tape, lining it with a fine fabric to cover the stitches and give a professional finish. She also showed how we could cover the top and bottom frame with braid to finish off the lampshade.

Apologies for delay in posting details of this workshop.  Ros

Thanks to Claire Tubbs for the report and photos.