Jessica Grady gave a wonderful talk from her home in Leeds to 35 of our members on Zoom. She started her talk by explaining she chose to go to university in Norwich because the course gave her the opportunity to explore weaving, knitting, surface and print. Jessica had several internships working for, Hand & Lock, Zandra Rhodes and Marks & Spencer. For her final year project she decided to research simple embroidery stitches and her French knots were created in various sizes, threads, materials and backgrounds. Her final Degree piece displayed a large piece full of embellishments. Jessica then took part in the New Designer’s Show followed by the Graduate Showcase at the Festival of Quilts in 2014.
Travelling to South America gave Jessica yet more inspiration for her work and reinforced her love of colour. On her return she started working freelance creating embroidery designs for collections through an agent where the copyright is sold with the purchase. It became clear that she would be better off managing her own destiny and in 2016 Jessica branched off on her own and had an article printed in Stitch magazine and took part in North Yorkshire Open studios.
In 2018 she was awarded the Under 30’s Scholar by the Embroiderers’ Guild and the following year she displayed her work with the Prism Textile Group. Along with other textile artists including Louise Baldwin, Sandra Meech and Cas Holmes, Jessica is involved with the group, Art Textiles Made in Britain and, as an ambassador, early in 2020 she was invited to display her work at the Tokyo International Quilt Festival .
During the pandemic Jessica has undertaken personal commissions and created online tutorial booklets. Community work is obviously a rewarding part of her current life and Jessica talked about creativity in stitch for NHS staff, young carers groups and giving talks and workshops to primary and secondary schools online. Thank you Jessica for a great talk.
Report by Ros
Photos thanks to Jessica
Wonderful collection of work by Robina
For you all, ‘A Loving Hug’, inspired from a painting by Romero Britto. I worked the black lines first by free machining over the design which I’d drawn onto vanishing paper, as the demo. last week. The colour was added after, using the reverse dyes, but I painted the design, and not randomly coloured, as the demonstrator had done. I also repeated the pattern, as you may notice by all the extra hands, but I only stitched and embroidered the centre area. I popped in the black & white ‘hug’, so you have a before and after.
The other thing is My penguin panel, which I add to every now and again as I think of things which might make it more interesting.
The final piece, Amsterdam was inspired by last month’s speaker Andrea Cryer.
Thank you Robina for sharing your work and I look forward to receiving images of other members’ projects in the future.