I have been away teaching this weekend, back at Missenden Abbey where as usual I've had a fabulous weekend with my Machine Embroidery City & Guilds students. It is the fifth weekend of twelve (taken over two years) and this time I've been overwhelmed by what my students have achieved. It is as though we have turned a corner and things are starting to pull together and make sense... which always takes time in a course like this.
There is a lot of design work in City and Guilds courses as well as the actual craft and the students have to produce five "resolved designs". There is much discussion over what is meant by a resolved design... and I'm not even going to begin to put my views out there... but for the sake of C & G they have to be ideas that could be executed in any discipline. So for the design unit of "Colour" as with all the design units, they have to present an idea that might be taken forward into a finished project in any discipline. Ann very cleverly presented her complementry colours blue and orange on a box.
Jane has shown how colours can be hot or cold and is planning a cold project for the future!
Mara made a beautiful resolved colour design based on gardens.
Scilla found a stunning range of complementry blues and oranges in photographs from a holiday in Morocco.
Wendy chose to focus on one colour, blue, but then explored the vast range of different blues from cool to warm. And Tracey looked at three pairs of complementry colours and used her Gelli plate to print out designs.
Linda also compared warm and cool colours and took the warm colours through to her samples showing manipulation techniques.
Ann presented her manipulation techniques in a book
Jane displayed hers in a frame...
Mara made a really innovative display by pinning her samples to a net hanging.
Scilla put her beautiful samples in a frame too
and Wendy put hers onto the sides of a box
Tracey presented her samples into a really clever and innovative folding format.
A couple of the students have also finished their first major assignment - Jane has made a very contemporary looking wallhanging based on tall buildings.
And Mara has finished her fabulous wall hanging inspired by the stained glass windows of Missenden Abbey. Neither of these last two photos really show the skill and intricate stitching in these final pieces.
It is wonderful to see each student grow and progress over the time since we started the course in October and every piece of work here really is fabulous. Please do leave them a comment to let them know... I sometimes think I need to be teaching self esteem and confidence classes rather than machine embroidery and I know it would really make their day to hear what you think!
And if you wonder if you could do this... you can! I'm teaching level 1 machine embroidery for beginners at the Missenden Abbey summer school and a second certificate class will be starting in October. Do get in touch if you would like to know more.