Wednesday, December 1, 2010

13 October 2010 - Alex and Karen, "Our life with Cherrilyn"

Alex and Karen were due to give their talk in February 2010 but the meeting was cancelled due to unusually heavy snowfall. They thought that let them off the hook but we had other plans and they were quickly rebooked to give their talk following the AGM.

Both were clearly nervous, but they had no cause for concern; they were among friends. They opted to speak alternately for about 5 minutes at a time. It was a format that worked well as we got to hear their stories in parallel. Each told us their first experiences of needlework, about coming to their first Oxford Branch EG meeting alone and receiving a warm welcome, then attending the first workshop that Cherrilyn Tyler gave for us way back in July 2001. Everyone enjoyed that workshop so much that Cherrilyn was invited to do another workshop, which Alex and Karen both attended. It was at that workshop that Cherrilyn invited them to join her for a masterclass. They both admitted that they were surprised and flattered by the invitation and more than a little daunted at the prospect and how relieved they were to know they would have a friend on board.

For their very first masterclass they were asked to bring something that inspired them. Cherrilyn then guided them through a series of exercises that focused on their inspirational item. Over successive weekend workshops they were encourage to develop their initial thoughts through to a finished article. Since that first meeting the group of textile artists mentored by Cherrilyn has continued to meet four times a year and exhibited several times.

Alex and Karen’s work is very different from each other, but as they said that is Cherrilyn’s gift - to help those she mentors to find and develop their own style.

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