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.

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.






Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Fabric Fields and French Knots - Celebrating East Anglia in Stitch

What a fabulous day out at the Museum of East Anglian Life today -  Carol, Lorna and ex EAST member June Carroll and myself went for a day out to see the exhibition Fabric Fields and French Knots.  This exhibition marks the 50th anniversary of the Museum of East Anglian Life. To celebrate they have teamed up with members of local Embroiderers' Guild groups in Suffolk and Essex to create new works inspired by the museum collections.

Among the artists exhibiting is our own Carol Dixon, along with such familiar names as Jan Lovell, Susan Cranwell, Malelaine Nightingale, Vendulka and Olivier Battais, Mary McIntosh to name just a few. 

The exhibits are housed in various buildings on the site as well as in the Abbot's Hall Gardens. You definitely need the little guide to find all 68 pieces and even after three hours we still did not get round it all, so make sure you allow plenty of time when you visit.  For more details go to www.eastanglianlife.org.uk

The photographs below show a selection of the exhibits which hopefully will give a taster and make you want to go along to have a look.

The first exhibit below is to be found in the conservatory in the main Abbot's Hall and is a joint effort.


Below if a detail from the tree above.


 Winter Hedgerow by Carol Dixon



Winter Hedges by Madelaine Nightingale



Gypsy Caravan by Vendulka and Olivier Battais




Country Faces by Madelaine Nightingale


Steam Power byJan Lovell



Footplate Jan Lovell




Cedric - Suffolk Sheep by Susan Cranwell
Businessman




Frieda - Suffolk Sheep by Susan Cranwell
Felted Lady




Allan - Suffolk Sheep Lamb by Susan Cranwell




Edges by Madelaine Nightingale




Celebration Stitch by Gay Macbeth


Monday, 21 August 2017

Sculpture Exhibition

Since the end of July up to 10th September there is a sculpture exhibition at Marks Hall Gardens and Arboretum in Coggeshall (postcode for satnav CO6 1TG) and so far I have been four times.  There are over 250 sculptures in the gardens which are made from all sorts of materials from Portuguese and Carrara marble, Zimbabwean springstone, bronze, bronze resin, marine grade stainless steel, galvanised forged steel and blown glass, Welsh slate, aluminium gauze, wood and willow to name a few and many incorporate movement whether by floating or wind power.  They are all amazing but the few I have selected to show here are chosen on the basis of material, one of which is my favourite, the fact that the subject of one had his tercentenary last year (and the Embroiderers Guild did a project inspired by his work), one in particular made me smile and the last one I chose is very impressive. 



















The two photos above show pieces by Carole Andrews from Kent and the materials she has used are an aluminium gauze with copper or steel support.  The aluminium gauze has been manipulated and pleated and trap in the gauze is some sort of resin or plaster.  Detail pictures below.  






The sculpture shown in the photos below is by Pam Foley from Northamptonshire and made from iron resin.  However, it looks like the figure has been wrapped in some sort of scrim like material and, in fact, this piece is titled Wrapped.  I think it has the look of a Giacometti figure and is my favourite sculpture in the exhibition.















The figure below is of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown by Laury Dizengremel and is described as being made of  "resin for bronze".  Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was the inspiration for Embroiderers Guild exhibitions across the country last year which was his tercentenary. 


The two sculpture below were chosen for humour and scale.  The photo on the left shows Fork in Pollen by Mark Reed from Norfolk and is made from cold cast pewter and fibre glass.  We wondered if he suffers from hay fever - say the title quickly.  The sculpture on the right is titled "Close" by Paul Vanstone and are made from Portuguese marble on Italian marble bases.





















Tuesday, 15 August 2017

TSG Summer School with Kay Greenlees

I also attended the TSG Summer School this year, returning after a few years.


The rather splendid venue was Stoke Rochford Hall, near Grantham, Lincs. Very imposing on our arrival and even more impressive at nightime, all lit up.




The Overall theme this year was 'Beyond the Line - Seeing and Stitching'
And Kay's working theme was 'Seeing Through Stitch'


We were asked to bring a small collection of natural objects to work from either 
shells/coral/barnacles or seeds/pods/cones, mine are pictured above.

The first evening was spent with loosening up drawing exersizes, working big and with the 
wrong, in my case, left hand. making interesting marks from our chosen objects.
 
                             

                                    We then went on to some relaxing stitching, working with our 'favourite' stitch and trying to                  exagerate  it's qualities - open/closed, stretched, thick/thin, big/small, high/low.
                                                      
The following day we made large drawings from the marks on our subject matter
 

We then went on to make similar marks on the long rolls of emulsion painted fabric that  Kay had prepared for us

We continued to stitch on the fabric using the stitches we had familiarised ourselves with earlier. Both the marks and the stitches are an expressive interpretation of the source material.







Saturday, 12 August 2017

Textile Study Group Summer School - Lorna Rand

At the end of July I was lucky enough to be able to attend this year's TSG summer school in Grantham - the tutor I chose was Jean Draper and the title of the workshop was "Stitching Lines - Leaving Spaces".

"Line, in all its varieties, whether drawn, painted or stitched, is a very important element in design, giving us the ability to create a wide range of effects. Of equal significance are the spaces left between lines – the negative shapes – which add strength and cohesion to our designs."


On the first day Jean gave a talk about lines and spaces and gave each student a notebook, which we were encouraged to use, a small wire wrapped shape and a piece of foam board.  We were asked to fill the space within the wire shape with bars, weaving and wrapping etc.


The piece of foam board had pins inserted around the edges around which we wrapped threads which were knotted together to form a net which could be filled or layered with more pieces or used for weaving and filling in other ways.  Jean showed us some of her wonderful examples.



On the second day we covered sheets of paper with charcoal which was then erased with a putty rubber to draw one of the objects we had taken with us – I used a shell.  The patterns on the shell were fantastic, I am not sure that my interpretation did them justice.


The charcoal was followed by pen and wash drawings, being instructed to use just pen and wash and not to draw with pencil first. I found this quite difficult, I think I would need a lot more practice to be successful with this method.


We then did exercises using cut paper to encourage us to look at lines and spaces in between, learning to look at the size of the spaces as well as the lines.


Using the work we had done we experimented with the cut work and ink drawings.



















Finally, we worked on our own ideas which has given me some great inspiration to use on work which I am doing at home, ideas which I will certainly use.  A very interesting few days so many thanks to TSG and Jean Draper.