This event in Harrogate, in November, has been on my calendar for years. I heard about it first when I was doing a day-a-week embroidery class at Northumberland College of Art & Design. The course was a City & Guilds in Design and Embroidery (now sadly being withdrawn). Doing that course over two years led to my entry onto a Textiles degree course and then to a career in teaching over fourteen years. It’s such a shame that the City & Guilds course is disappearing… Anyhow, back to the show.
I studied BA Textiles and Surface Pattern at Cleveland College of Art & Design and they had a stand at the show.
They had these great giveaways (the ‘paintbrush’ is a pen!), both of which I intend using. I learnt so much on my course. I had no previous Art background, so I had a lot to catch up on – thank you CCAD!
And speaking of textiles students, it was good to see graduate work on display, including this striking coat by James Bowen (www.jamesfashiontextiles.com).
We need creativity and innovation in our society and it was heartening to see that the Embroiderers’ Guild are campaigning for increased opportunities for children to be creative within the school curriculum. At the show, visitors were invited to add their names to the petition – by embroidering them!
The Quilters’ Guild had an exhibition of historic quilts from their collection, which were linked by an interesting theme – the occupation of the makers. These included a lighthouse-keeper and an umbrella and parasol manufacturer, who used the off-cuts to make her quilt. You can see a facsimile of the latter hanging on the outside of the stand, in the photo.
The knitting group Materialistics (www.facebook.com/Materialistics2009), based in South Shields, produced a knitted version of the Great North Run half-marathon race, which made for a fun exhibit.
There were classes at the show which could be booked, but also a number of live demonstrations which everyone could see. I particularly enjoyed one by Mary McIntosh (www.marymacintosh.co.uk) a textile artist and tutor, who was using fabric paint, bleach, de-colourant and stencils to produce rich patterns on cloth.