About E.A.S.T

East Anglian Stitch Textiles (E.A.S.T) was formed in 1995 in response to a demand for a self-supporting framework for textile artists in East Anglia, UK.


The membership of this group commenced with ten artists and now has fifteen.


Since it's inception E.A.S.T has had a close relationship with Braintree District Museum where it meets monthly and held the first E.A.S.T exhibition in 1997.The group continues to be mentored by Anthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of the Embroiderer's Guild.

Friday, 8 December 2017

In May I posted pictures on our trip to Morocco and samples and ideas for a textile piece based on the wonderful Islamic tiles there. I was experimenting with natural pigments that can be found in the souks in Marrakesh.
So after 6 months I have finally finished two pieces of work block printed with natural pigments and then stitched in places... I wanted to suggest a gradual disintegrating of these ancient patterns.  The top piece is almost twice the size of the second.


This one is a detail.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

A WW1 Christmas - 4th Dec 2017 to 6 January 2018

Producing work for an EAST exhibition is not just about research, trials and samples, making the item and putting it on display.  Sometimes the work can have a life after the last exhibition is packed away.  I find it particularly gratifying to hear that something EAST created has become the inspiration for someone else.  For the work made for Between the Lines it is particularly pleasing to hear that the research itself continues to be useful.



This has been the case with regard to the information sheet I produced on the Lady Smith-Dorrien's Hospital Bag Fund.  I had used this to make my work, shown above when the exhibition visited Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington.  Now the research is going to be part of a museum display.

From 4th December this year, and for six weeks only, Bath Medical Museum will be recreating a WWI war hospital - looking at how the inpatients (soldiers) were 'entertained' over the Christmas period.  Instead of focusing on the grimmer aspects of war the exhibition will use anecdotal stories on the themes of food, entertainment, gifts, decorations, celebrations, etc.  They will look at how local people provided plum puddings, knitted goods and filling crackers.

In addition, on the opening day (6.12.17) there will be a lecture by Dr Roger Rolls on the history of the Bath Mineral Hospital during the war.  The exhibition continues until 6 January 2018.

For more information visit the Bath Hospital Museum website.  Please note that the museum, which is run entirely by volunteers is open Mondays to Wednesdays (2pm to 4pm) and Fridays (10am to 12 noon).

More information about Lady Smith-Dorrien's Hospital Bag Fund can be found by following the link from my page - HERE.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Another View posted by Lorna Rand

At the end of October I went to London to see the Prism exhibition ‘Another View’ this was first shown at the RSBA in Birmingham then in London at Hoxton Arches.

This was a very interesting exhibition as usual, many members of Prism took part exploring "different ways of looking, seeing and understanding; a chance to visualise the complexities and possibilities of people, places, events and the world we live in".  It was very interesting to see how members had interpreted their ideas from the title into textile.

I thought Jo Coombes' work was really outstanding exploring human motives, both for individuals and nation states when values diverge and beliefs become irreconcilable.  I was also drawn to Dee Thomas’s ‘Underfoot, showing the many small items on a beach which are trampled underfoot when out walking.  Paulene Cattle’s work which showed, in black and red felt pieces, her impression of an unused and dilapidated post box.  Dorothy Tucker’s mixed media landscapes showed a lovely mix of digital printing, paint and stitch while Jackie Langfeld’s decorated teaspoons were a delight.


Many pieces showed a wonderful interpretation of ideas, others were beautifully worked, so in all a great exhibition that was well worth the trek up to London.


Above image is of Jo Coombs' piece


Above image is of Dee Thomas' piece


Above image is of Paulene Cattle's pieces

Ten 2 One - 25 Nov 2017 to 3 Feb 2018


EASTie, Tricia North is part of this exhibition which will be on display at the Beecroft Art Gallery, Victoria Avenue, Southend on Sea, SS2 6EX from November this year until February next.  

TOMA stands for "The Other MA" and is an alternative education method at the level of a masters' degree.  It was devised by Emma Edmonson, working in partnership with Metal Art School at Southend on Sea.  Artists from a variety of disciplines will be displaying their work -a mixture of sculpture, ceramics, photography and paint; a result of their twelve months' of study.   It is sure to be an interesting and thought provoking exhibition.


Friday, 20 October 2017

Jenny's experiments with fermentation dyeing.
 I think this must be the slowest form of dyeing as it is done cold. I started with weld which wasn't very successful, but red cabbage has been very exciting.
I chopped up a quarter of a red cabbage very small and put it in a clean plastic milk bottle with the lid on. I shook it 3 times a day and let out the gasses, it was kept in the dark and after 4 days this was the result.
I know that red cabbage is very sensitive to the PH, so I tried painting the silk with washing soda, that is an alkaline ph.
This was quite a startling colour, and so far after a month it hasn't changed. so then I tried lemon juice, this goes a very pretty pink, but it did tend to rinse out.
Iron water made from [ferrous sulphate] turn the silk blue and does seem colour fast at the moment.
finally I did a black berry leaf print, not such a good result.
I shall have to see how the colour lasts, red cabbage is notoriously good at fading, the idea is that the fermentation will help the colour to stay.
  Now I have started 2 more one with buckthorn bark, I have kept the PH high by adding slaked lime, this took much longer about 3 weeks but I am pleased with the red colour.
I now have a birch bark vat going, it is supposed to make pink, but after nearly 3 weeks I am not sure yet.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Brushing Up on Colour

At the beginning of September I went on a Jo Budd workshop in Eastbourne, although Jo comes from Bungay in Norfolk.  Jo is a trained artist but works in textiles and has a method of working with Procyon dyes whereby she uses them like paints, mixing her colours in a palette using the thickener Manutex.

Every artist seems to have their own method of working with Procyon dyes and I find it useful, every now and again, to brush up on technique and ideas.

Jo makes up the basic dye powders with water and makes up the Manutex with chemical water.  She then takes what she required from the dye pots to mix up the required secondary and tertiary colours and it is at this stage she uses the Manutex.  She will also apply chemical water to her fabrics if she wishes to use them wet but quite often she applies the dyes to dry fabric - obviously you get different effects.  She does not add chemical water direct when making up her basic dye colours as the “clock starts ticking” the minute you add the chemical water to the dye.  So when she mixes a secondary or tertiary colour she uses the Manutex which contains the chemical water and then can create effects by applying, for example, the colour to a plastic surface to create a mono print or apply the dye direct to fabric using various brushes, sprays and mark making tools. 

When I first did a workshop with Jo, besides adding soda ash as a fix for the dyes, she was also using a bullet steamer to fix the dyes.  With limited space and facilities in Eastbourne Jo had simply bought a large electric water heater in which she has stood a trivet in the bottom so that the fabrics (wrapped around a cardboard tube) did not come into direct contact with the water.  The fabrics were stood on the trivet and the water brought up to temperature and the fabrics steamed for three minutes before the fabrics were then rinsed.  Alternatively you could steam iron the fabrics on both sides for three minutes before rinsing.  Jo follows this method to ensure colour and light fastness.

The fabrics could be overdyed with unthickened dyes as required.

I composed the two landscapes below with the fabrics I'd dyed - think they have possibilities.


Monday, 11 September 2017

Poppies : Wave - posted by Julie Toppesfield

Southend has said goodbye to a sculpture commemorating the First World War - Poppies: Wave moved onto the next stop on a national tour.  Poppies: Wave, by Paul Cummins (artist) and Tom Piper (designer), was installed at Barge Pier, in Gunners Park, part of the old ranges which has a long military history, and was a perfect setting for this art work.  Most poignant was the playing of the last post every evening at sunset, well worth seeing if you should get the chance.

“Poppies: Wave, a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks, was originally seen at the Tower of London as part of the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. “

It can currently be seen at the CWGC Plymouth Naval Memorial until the 19th November, 2017.