Sunday, 27 April 2014

Wonderful Work!

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.


  1. Well I think it's wonderful work, all of it!
    V xxx

  2. No wonder you are thrilled with your students' work. Does C&G still hand out distinctions? There is plenty of potential for them, if that impressive array of gorgeous colour studies is anything to go by.

  3. Terrifyingly professional in performance and presentation. We'll done all

  4. Thanks for the photos Gina, and for all you hard work, it was a wonderful weekend and the staff at Missenden really worked hard to give us a good time.

  5. I did a City and Guilds in Creative Design with Embroidery and know how much work goes into it for both teacher and student,so well done ladies on gorgeous work, especially the diverse ways of presenting it.. Gina, you must be very proud.

  6. Wow, very impressive work from all your girls, you must be delighted to teach such a talented bunch- and of course they must be equally delighted with their tutor!

  7. Gina, starting back in the 1970's (yes, that long ago) my visits to the UK have been always a bit, and sometimes more than a bit, planned with an eye to seeing what was going on in contemporary textile design, and also with an eye to viewing any museum/gallery exhibits that told a textile design tale that would catch my imagination and add to it.

    From your photographs of the students' works, it's clear to me that these folks have also caught the same motivation that caught me so long ago.

    Their works are varied and so, so interesting. Color features in a wonderful way.

    This post has made me so happy! Great to see what others are creating. xo

  8. Wonderful work and it makes me miss the creativity of the C&G course. I completed Part 1 many moons ago

  9. Its mostly down to good teaching.
    As well as talent.Fantastic work girls, well done and well done to Gina.x

  10. Thanks so much for sharing, I am still trying to complete my coourse and seeing this work has been a real inspiration. x

  11. This is my kind of course, all that beautiful colour! The work produced here is fantastic. xx

  12. Many thanks Gina it was nice to see what your group are doing as we never seem to get time to visit other groups and see the wonderful work that is being produced

  13. Superb work! Is that "my" Jane? She's been very busy!

  14. This is fabulous work-congratulTions to all who are doing the course, especially Scilla and Mara, my Famous Five friends from last summer

  15. stunning work Gina. lovely to see such different interpretations and ways of presenting it too. I must use more blue/yellow/orange combinations - so beautiful.

    one day.... I shall do this course.

  16. I ooohed and aaahed over this whole post. Wonderful work.

  17. What a fantastic range of work. Some really clever things here to catch the eye. They are a credit to their teacher and themselves.


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