Alison King

artists and tutors sharing ideas imagination and skills

Alison King noticeboard


In Embroidery Magazine July/August 2016  –  a comprehensive article on Alison King’s work and career including “Mapping Remembrance” and the First World War.


Woodlands and Rivers

Suitable for the enthusiastic beginner and those experienced in working with textiles.
Drawing on the beauty and texture of trees and water, we will use a variety of techniques, first of all creating surfaces with paint, some simple mark making with a range of medium. Then we will be needle weaving onto wooden frames with strips of fabric, string and threads . To this we will add in wrapping and decorative hand stitch to evoke the mood of the riverbank.

Exits and Entrances

In my own work I have looked at many beautiful buildings. Often they had magnificent entrances, doorways or fantastic gates. Looking in through these could be seen rich interiors and from inside, landscapes that were lush and green. Your “gateway” could take its inspiration from anywhere – from the grandest of castles to a humble garden shed!
We would work with layers on quite a small scale with just the one day. The top layer would be used to create the doorway, gate or entrance and the second for the view through, perhaps to something mysterious, open or enclosed. I hope to show you a number of techniques that can be used to build up the different layers.

Stripping Back the Layers

This is a theme that can be interpreted at many levels – not only in a physical way but also philosophically. It can deal with a notion such as decay, the peeling back of layers through time and the distressing of surfaces. It can also deal with the idea of tearing back layers to reveal something hidden, precious, new. It might make you think things that lie beneath a surface- archaeological finds, family history, veins beneath the skin, or vegetation like bulbs, onions, celery. It is a theme perfectly suited to the contrasting of different textures and the construction of unusual shapes and forms, the building up and cutting back of material layers.

From small things can grow beautiful large things!

Textile artists often get inspiration from the patterns created by “growing” forms and shapes – those such as cells dividing under the microscope. One could widen this out to include looking at similar shapes that appear elsewhere. Objects like natural sponges, lichen, decaying wood, fossils, gem stones to suggest but a few. These kinds of structures lend themselves so well to developing in fabric – their wonderful linear qualities, colour potential and delicate textures. I’m sure you would want to add to this list and bring with you other exciting examples of “growing” forms.

To begin with we could have great fun observing these very qualities, using mixed media; creating different surfaces, building up textures with mark making, paper collage, perhaps using ink and wax resist, over printing, scratching and so much more .

Then we could discuss individually how you might develop your ideas – this could be in any direction from a series of small pieces, a huge panel or container to a fantastic piece of jewellery. This would be entirely up to you with hopefully a little bit of help from me !


The theme of Reflection can be interpreted in many ways both physical and philosophical – inner reflection and outer reflection.

It can be developed in a very literal way or as a totally abstract image. Many common themes – such as water or self-portraiture, can be investigated.

The familiar physical characteristics of reflection such as distortion, repetition, and symmetry are rich sources of inspiration.

With this in mind I would like to start the workshop by looking at different aspects of this theme and starting with a few small exercises.

Then using a simple printing technique, we will explore the nature of reflection. I would hope that from these experiments you could develop a number of visual images, both abstract and figurative.We would then manipulate and develop these images further using a variety of techniques including machine and hand embroidery.

Land Marks

The way we see the landscape of our “patchwork” planet can be as a complex series of marks. Looking at a familiar scene, as if from an aeroplane, or a view from ‘Google’ Earth or even on a map, it becomes a mass of varied shapes textures and patterns. In this workshop I want you to look at your own territory in this way, experimenting with mark making, using many different techniques, to explore the varied qualities of your chosen view. Using paint, print and stitch we will gradually piece together the essence of your landscape.

Workshop Fees on request

Most of these classes can be started in one day but most would really benefit from two days. Please ask for more information.


Where is the Consolation?

A personal tribute, in fabric and paint, to one man and his comrades in WW1. The story and history behind the artist’s large wall hanging based on the exploits of McCrae’s Battalion at the battle of the Somme. The finished piece was on show in St Giles Cathedral from July 1st for five weeks in 2016.

Landscape in Triplicate

As a textile artist, I work with many different techniques including embroidery. I think it is, perhaps, the combination of needlework, painting and collage, which makes my work distinctive. Since moving to Scotland, landscape has become a very important source of inspiration to me. In recent years the Cairngorm National Park in Aberdeenshire and the River Gairn, a tributary of the Dee, has inspired much of my work.

I often work on related panels or triptychs. In this lecture I will be talking about this personal approach to landscape and how I have come to interpret it not only two dimensionally but also in the round.

Fee on request.


2018 –  invited artist in the Embroiderers’ Guild’s Exhibition 100 Hearts –  starting at the Knit and Stitch Show in London –  then travelling the UK.

2016  –  my large WWI piece hanging in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, and other work in the EDGE exhibition at the Edinburgh Palette.

Commissions information

To date I have undertaken a number of large scale commissions including panels for the entrance hall at Currie High School, the new dining room at St Georges’ School , Edinburgh and a triptych for Arniston House, Midlothian.


Winter from Life Cycle, the commission for St Georges’ School, Edinburgh

Delighted to accept both public and private commissions both large and small.

For more information about any item on this noticeboard, please contact the artist

About the artist

  • Work by Alison King
  • Work by Alison King
  • Work by Alison King
  • Work by Alison King
  • Work by Alison King
  • Work by Alison King