Composition: big | bold | brave, with Bobby Britnell

Composition: big | bold | brave, with Bobby Britnell

We are delighted to share that three space have become available to join in with Bobby Britnell’s Summer School 2022, Composition: big, bold, brave.

Composition is one of the key elements in art and design, whether you are creating a drawing, painting or involved with any visual art form. It provides the viewer with the tools needed for making sense of finished works.

We will begin by looking at how a composition can be changed by the simple placing of a horizontal line, the size of motifs in relation to the picture plane, and the positioning of these motifs. We will investigate some of these ideas through a number of creative exercises onto paper and from these create some large bold monochromatic drawings.

Learning from master artists is paramount in understanding these concepts, so artist research will be fundamental in cementing personal ideas. Be prepared for some dramatic effects and large scale works on fabric which explore these concepts in challenging ways.

Bobby runs and teaches courses from her studio in South Shropshire and attracts students from all over the world. She also brings in the best UK tutors. She exhibits and teaches all over the country and abroad and was a tutor on the BA (Hons) programme for the Julia Caprara School of Stitched Textiles. She published her first book in 2013, which has been reprinted in 2021.

The summer school begins at 2.00pm on Monday 18 July, and ends after afternoon tea on Thursday 21 July 2022.

Collagraph & Cloth

Collagraph & Cloth

TSG February weekend 18 – 20th 2022

Tutor Sue Brown

Textile Study Group members meet for two weekends a year in a supportive but challenging environment to participate in workshops led by outside tutors from a wide range of disciplines. Last month our weekend workshop was led by artist Sue Brown.

Sue Brown is an artist using collagraph printmaking to tell stories. Collagraph plates can be made in many different ways using easily obtained materials. Also printed on a variety of substrates. The success of the printed image lies in the inking up and printing. Over the weekend we explored a couple of plate making and inking techniques and experimented with printing on a selection of textiles.

These weekends are like no others in my year- they’re a chance to meet up with like minded women, women of extraordinary skill, knowledge, talent- who at a drop of a hat will share, support, and encourage each other. The art workshop weekends are full on- they take stamina and at times courage, courage to try something new, fail, try again, make a mess, take a risk, but you might just take something home with you- a spark of an idea, a new technique, or simply time to reflect on your practice. Below are some reflections on the weekend from our group.

Can you sum up how you might use what you got from this weekend in your practice?

‘The workshop reignited my interest in collagraphs and printmaking – it felt exciting again!’

‘I am excited to explore printmaking further, to revisit my background in printed textiles and build the subtleties of collographic mark-making into my practice.’

‘It has reminded me of the usefulness of collagraph techniques for printed marks but also the flexibility of materials used for making the plates, which are beautiful objects in their own right.’

‘It made me consider another aspect of surface and printing.’

‘As detailed areas within a semi-transparent layered piece of work – I hope.’

‘I probably can’t use it directly as part of my work, but this absolutely didn’t stop my enjoyment of the weekend – it’s just so nice to learn something new, to do that alongside a group of people, to be away from the responsibilities of home for a day or two, have some laughs…’

‘Something that always excites me is how else can I add another layer , collagraphs add just that.’

A sentence about lifelong learning: 

‘My aim is to continually investigate, explore and learn – pushing myself, my ideas and my work.

‘I don’t ever want to feel I’ve stopped learning.’

‘The engagement with learning is research, exploration of methods and understanding of materials that fascinates, engrosses and thrills.’

‘I have just started a part time MA at Plymouth College of Art, I have been involved in Arts education for over 30 years and am passionate about lifelong learning. It is vital to keep up with contemporary developments, particularly in textiles, as it always feeds back into my teaching, learning also enriches my own practice and stimulates fresh ideas and thinking through making.’

‘As a tutor I’ve seen lifelong learning transform so many people’s lives; seen people make important friends; seen people find purpose and change direction in their lives. As a student it enables me to continue learning, exploring, challenging myself, has made massive impacts on my life at different stages by.It has also provided me with a flexible way of working as a single parent which has been essential. Should receive far more funding from Government – like it used to do – as it’s so important and valuable to individuals and to society.’

‘Continuing to learn new skills and pushing my thinking helps me to find personal meaning in my life and keeps me feeling curious and connected to the wider world.’

Thanks to Sue Brown for a fantastic workshop, everyone in the Textile Study Group and members who contributed to this post: Lois Blackburn, Sarah Burgess, Alice Fox, Sue Green, Sian Martin, Amarjeet Nandhra, Mandy Pattullo, Polly Pollock, Shelley Rhodes, Mary Sleigh and Julia Triston.

An evening in London

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At the start of May, two of our members, Dorothy Tucker and Sheila Mortlock, attended this year’s presentation for the Embroiderers’ Guild Beryl Dean Award for Teaching Excellence in Embroidery and Design. The event took place in St Margaret’s Church, Lothbury, in the City of London right behind the Bank of England. It’s a lovely church and well worth a visit. It shows up in records dating from the 12th century although it was destroyed in The Great Fire of London and subsequently rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. There is fine woodwork throughout and the church serves the financial area of London.

The Beryl Dean Award is in its third year and was started in the name of Beryl Dean to recognise the very best of teaching in embroidery. The invited guests were welcomed by the event’s host Andrew Salmon who introduced Muriel Campbell, Chair of the Guild and then last year’s joint winner Debbie Gonet who talked about the pleasure she gets from working with young students just starting on their textile career.

Anthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of the Embroiderers’ Guild, spoke at length about the importance of design in embroidery, coupled with the technical skill, views echoed by many attending. She also highlighted her own and the Guild’s concerns about recent announcements from the Department of Education who seem intent to reduce the teaching of art in schools. It was tempting to quote Winston Churchill during the early days of the last war when asked to cut funding to the Arts “Then what are we fighting for.” Whether that particular quotation is apocryphal or not it is surely a proven fact that everyone benefits from engagement with the creative arts.

The Beryl Dean Award this year was presented to Hannah Maughan, a lecturer at Falmouth University where she teaches textile design. Hannah studied at Birmingham and the Royal College of Art, specialising in embroidery and mixed media. There were also two Commendations this year. Carole Holme was commended for Embroidery Technique and Sonia Tuttiett was commended for Inspiration in the Community. Carole, Carole Holme specialises in Goldwork and Sonia, Sonia Tuttiett works with disadvantaged and other groups in the East End of London.

Before everyone moved to enjoy the splendid buffet Diana Springall spoke and presented a book to the winner. A lovely evening and a great event.