Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Naseem Darbey

After a busy day I was in two minds about going to the Guild’s monthly talk, but after googling the speaker I was intrigued and decided to chance it. I’m so glad that I did. Naseem had driven all the way from Leeds to talk to us, battling weather and bad traffic to be with us.

Having trained in illustration and embroidery at Halifax College of Art, she began using freehand stitch as her preferred drawing method. Through direct observation she creates unique three dimensional pieces. Working on a range of museum projects her inventive mind and skilful use of threads were evident.

© Naseem Darbey

Memorable work was some beautifully 'drawn' crows. She made each feather separately then assembled the whole creating a lace-like yet somehow sinister quality. Her own life experience had a big impact on her work and after coping with breast cancer and a mastectomy she managed to get funding to study at the Museum of Pathology, Kings College, London. Here she developed some amazing and beautiful pieces from studies of cancerous breasts. She became interested in the lighting and use of shadow as well as using lights within her work. She is now working on developing a larger scale ‘walk in’ piece in collaboration with an architect.

© Naseem Darbey

Naseem’s energy and enthusiasm was captivating. We were full of admiration for not only her amazing and beautiful work, but her ability to get funding and to work collaboratively with a range of organisations and people.

© Naseem Darbey

I was one of the first to sign up to the course she is running for us in September. I’m so glad I made the effort to go to her talk.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

José Hendo

In May, we welcomed José Hendo as our guest speaker. It was impossible not to be infected by her passion and enthusiasm for ethical, sustainable fabrics and especially her fabric of choice, barkcloth.

© José Hendo

Barkcloth is from her country of origin, Uganda, and José feels it is the perfect ambassador for sustainability. To illustrate its beauty and versatility, José brought along a number of outfits, including the one she was wearing, bags, and other examples from her collection.

© José Hendo

We learned about the history of barkcloth, how it is cultivated and harvested, and how it is transformed into fabric. Using barkcloth creates sustainable jobs in Uganda and the Mutuba tree, from which barkcloth is harvested, is important to the ecosystem and community. Through Bark To The Roots (B2TR), José has connected with the barkcloth making communities in Uganda where she has adopted a tree and planted the 1st in the 1 million tree planting campaign.

José brought with her the Jubileo barkcloth harvested by Paul Katamiira (in honour of the King of Buganda's 25th anniversary. We were amazed to see the this beautiful whole cloth harvested from a single tree.

© José Hendo

José also spoke passionately about her quest to ensure her own label adheres to the principles of R3 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – and of zero waste. So impressed was one of our members that she awarded José The Fiona Medal for Services to Upcycling, designed by Karen Long and made by Fiona.

© José Hendo

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Therapy Hand Puppets

In April, our monthly meeting departed from its usual format by not having a speaker but had us all sewing puppets instead.

Everything had been prepared beforehand: two double-faced heads cut out and stitched, bodies (male and female) also stitched, and an array of threads, buttons and wools for eyes etc.

We had all the details of how to go about making the puppets with two faces so that they had, for example, a happy face on the front and a sad one when turned around.


The fun of stitching these things began! Of course Amanda Smith finished hers by the end of the evening but most of us took ours home in various stages of incompletion. Mine took ages to finish, with added details of collars, hair, hands etc. Not so easy!


We hope these puppets will be useful tools in helping young children talk about traumatic experiences.

A most enjoyable evening and thanks to Karen for the mountain of preparation that made it possible.

For more information about the puppets see https://www.knitfornowt.org. Patterns for the sewn puppets can be found here.

By Maureen Ergeneli

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Richard McVetis

The visit from Richard McVetis was a great evening which was not only fun but gave us a wonderful insight into his thinking and meticulous work.

© Richard McVetis

His tiny, rhythmic stitches in black cotton on natural wool run around the corners of his 6 x 6 cm cubes creating a fascinating series of blocks entitled 'Units of Time'.

He inspired us all with his simplicity that conveys so many messages about our time and space as well as looking back to Fifteenth Century stitch.

© Richard McVetis

Richard keeps it clear using a limited range of stitches being seed, dots and crosses. He shared his story with such enthusiasm and joy giving us a wonderful and inspirational evening. His highly professional work depicting the world around him with such skill and thought made us all want to look again at the use of lines, dots and crosses.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

What's on in March

Richard McVitis is a London based artist. McVitis uses a range of media including drawing, installation, and textiles to explore our perception of space and time. In this talk Richard will talk discuss how his minimalist work is an endless exploration, not just of form but of the reclamation and potential of process and repetition within stitch.

© Richard McVitis

"Units of Time"
7.15 pm on 13 March 2019
at Iffley Village Church Hall, Iffley, OX4 4EG.

Visitors welcome £6.00

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Oxford Branch Ruby Anniversary

In July, we enjoyed a lovely ‘Ruby’ Summer Social. With a bit of stitching, some eating and drinking, and an impromptu mini-auction of a yummy fruit-and-veg box straight from Polly’s allotment.

Anne Stearn, Oxford EG’s first ever chairman (and founder) joined us and said she was thrilled that forty years on Oxford EG is still thriving.



Thursday, June 1, 2017

What's on in June

During twice yearly visits to the Himalayas, Alain Rouveure collects works from craftsmen he admires, and sells them worldwide at exhibitions, his "Tibetan Rugs in Exile" lectures and from his Galleries in the Cotswolds. Most items on sale, especially his Tibetan rugs, are commissioned by him.

Alain believes that business does not have to be driven by profits at all costs. New or old, each item in his Galleries is unique and has been selected for its quality, its obvious visual appeal and the ethical nature of its production and provenance ... no child labour ... no harmful chemicals ... minimal impact on a fragile environment ... no looting of temples in search of antiques.

© Alain Rouveure

"Tibetan Rugs in Exile"
7.15 pm on 14 June 2017
at Iffley Village Church Hall, Iffley, OX4 4EG.

Visitors welcome £6.00

Monday, May 1, 2017

What's on in May

Natalia Manley is a textile artist specialising in quilted and embroidered textile hangings for walls. She uses many techniques in her work including fabric collage, applique, patchwork, quilting, hand and machine embroidery as well as painting on fabric and canvas. She has won many awards for her work, most recently at the 2011 "Pour l'amour du fil" international exhibition in Nantes, France for her piece "Arrive without Traveling". She held her first solo exhibition in 1989 at the Henley Exhibition centre, UK, and has since exhibited her work regularly throughout the UK, USA, Europe and Middle East.

© Natalia Manley

"Glorious Colour"
7.15 pm on 10 May 2017
at Iffley Village Church Hall, Iffley, OX4 4EG.

Visitors welcome £6.00

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A BIG thank you to Eco Alkhemy

Tonight's speaker, Eco Alkhemy, not only gave a most enjoyable talk about her created using mainly recycled materials that push her creativity & uphold her ethos of non wastage of re-usable goods, she presented Oxford Branch with a gift that represents our territorial heritage & embroidery itself.

It is a wonderful embroidery and very generous gift that we were delighted to accept.

© Eco Alkhemy/Oxford Embroiderers' Guild

Saturday, April 1, 2017

What's on in April

Lisa Leigh's works are created using mainly recycled materials that push her creativity & uphold her ethos of non wastage of re-usable goods.

© Lisa Leigh

"Eco Alkhemy – Raised embroideries created from recycled materials"
7.15 pm on 12 April 2017
at Iffley Village Church Hall, Iffley, OX4 4EG.

Visitors welcome £6.00

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What's on in March

Inspired by her love of nature and fairytales, Isabel Howe's current work consists of sewn, laser cut wooden scenes using surrealism as a theme. Isabel experiments with scale to create mysterious and intriguing pieces of work which play with your imagination. She finds that a narrative informs her work and enjoys making pieces which brings the viewer into a story world.

© Isabel Howe

"My Floral Travels"
7.15 pm on 8 March 2017
at Iffley Village Church Hall, Iffley, OX4 4EG.

Visitors welcome £6.00

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What's on in February

"Taxtiles" is a merge of two words "Textile & Taxidermy" Breaking the boundaries to create edgy unique pieces of artwork/gifts for the home and business. Some items are what is called “textile taxidermy” in which techniques used in taxidermy are translated into fabric, yarn and thread. Becky Dick then uses her own style and process called weave binding™ to create these wonderful creatures. No animals were harmed in the writing of this blog.

© Becky Dick

"Taxtiles"
7.15 pm on 8 February 2017
at Iffley Village Church Hall, Iffley, OX4 4EG.

Visitors welcome £6.00