Well I set off just after lunch on Friday for Durham, just a few miles down the road and after one wrong turn into a different college I arrived at St Aidan's College, part of Durham University. I had been there before but turned right too soon. Never mind it was better than the last time I went there when it took me several trips up and down this road out of the town.
I met lots of people from previous courses run by The Embroiderers' Guild North East Region. We even get visitors from other regions, which is really good. The work rooms were very light and bright and had lovely big work tables. There were 11 people on my course and more on the contemporary goldwork course. After taking my things into the workroom I settled into my accommodation, rooms with double beds and on-suite facilities.
We started work at 4pm after a brief introduction and worked until dinner at 6.30. This was a short introduction to the tutor and her collection of fantastic African artefacts.
This continued after dinner until about 8.30. Lots of information to assimilate and starting to think about what we would be doing the next day. I was fascinated with the bag in the picture above and I had already come with a colour palette in mind - no it wasn't purple! I had this photo and wanted to use the colours of sunrise/sunset.
So after a sleepless night, making initial drawings, I started playing with fabrics that might do the job. They were all quilting cottons and in order to try and get the feel of the African raffia cloth I painted the pieces with watered down PVA glue. This was very effective. I tried a piece of felt as well but that turned out more like cardboard and didn't feel the same.
Above is fabric for a new project laid out and drying - it's the same fabric colours I used for my Durham project apart from the red which is slightly different.
We worked very hard all day and by the end of the day I had finalised what I was making and how it was going to be constructed. Along with some of my colleagues I also had a new project half planned. It took a lot of thought and experimental planning with a paper mock up. More about that project in another post.
So here is my small hanging that I almost completed on Sunday, I only had the dangly to make a decision about and didn't do that until yesterday. I didn't use the one that I posted yesterday but used another one instead.
Here is the sampler I worked on while away and then continued at home over the last two days. It shows some of the stitches Mary showed us and also acts as a reminder of the things I observed.
I also have lots of photos, notes and sketches I made.
Thank you for getting to the end of this post, I hope you enjoy my ramblings and look out for project number two based on this course.