Chris Berry PSG :: The Embroiderers’ Guild and its Collection

Stitching the past in the present

Blackwork embroidery by Chris Berry

It would be wonderful if everyone had the opportunity to stitch even if only once in their lifetime. My collaboration is with the Embroiderers’ Guild – an educational charity using its Collection and its publications (Embroidery and Stitch) to inspire and enrich, through embroidery, the lives of members, readers and the general public. Articles in these magazines promote the creation of embroidery, inspire original work based on the study of embroideries in the Guild’s 11,000 strong Collection, and also encourage ‘makers’ to become ‘teachers’.

Ann Smith from Sheffield was inspired by the colour and texture in the Stitch article, “Just One Stitch: Double Knot Stitch”…

double knot stitch in Stitch with the Embroiderers' Guild magazine

“The vibrancy of the blue colours immediately caught my attention, followed closely by the texture created by the manipulations of this stitch. I had never heard of double knot stitch but it very soon became compulsive and led me to explore it using different materials and threads.

I demonstrated this stitch using different varieties of threads on the Embroiderers’ Guild stand at Harrogate, which created a great deal of interest.” (Ann Smith)

Birgit Edmayr from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, read “From Sketch to Stitch”, an article which described my research interests in Tudor stitchery and how to decode Elizabethan stitches and techniques.

Stitch magazine published her picture of an Elizabethan scroll…

embroidered scroll by Birgit Edmayr

“The stitch detail on the Tudor embroidery is truly amazing as it is on so many historical embroideries. The article encouraged me to try some of the techniques and I have worked many samples. The use of various threads encouraged me to keep on looking around for new ones and to use many of the wonderful threads in my ‘stash’. Most importantly, not only did I have great enjoyment from working on the ‘scroll’, but I also passed on the information to fellow embroiderers when I taught the ‘Elizabethan Treasure’ at ‘Ighali 2007’ – an embroidery breakaway held here in South Africa biennially.” (Birgit Edmayr)

Chris Berry's work in Creative Dialogues

My main work, “This is not just any flower…” is a recreation of a C16th blackwork motif in the Embroiderers’ Guild Collection.

I invited visitors to the exhibition at the Bankfield Museum to stitch a simple blackwork motif, which became part of a contemporary blackwork embroidery that was exhibited in the gallery towards the end of the exhibition.

motifs stitched by visitors to the exhibition

two different versions of the blackwork motifs put together

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