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, 29 May 2017

Textile Art based on Morocco

In April we had a lovely holiday in Morocco, We were in Marrakesh as well as the low Atlas mountains.
Here we are in the dyers souk in Marrakesh.
I loved the Islamic patterns and thought they could be useful inspiration for an exhibition coming up next year Kaleidoscope.
I started printing, this is acrylic on fabric to try out patterns. These results were good
I like to use naturally dyed fabric as I like the subtle colours and the sense of tradition but for this project brighter colours would be needed. So I have been experimenting with natural pigments, Many of these come from Morocco.
Unfortunately printing with these colours didn't work as well, I have mixed the pigments, or I should say ground the pigments into soya milk and guar gum, I also tried gum tragacantha. I should say that prints with stencils and thermo fax screens did work well. This is a print on fabric dyed with avocado skins and pits, that has been soaked in soya milk.
However I like the faded look, I normally concentrate on organic patterns and asymmetric shapes so this is a new departure.  This is the same print as above with satin stitch with some areas only partially stitched, I hope to create a faded, partially disintegrated look. This is a sample, I will be developing it into a new piece in the next few weeks or months. I will do another posting when it is finished so you can see.  

Monday, 8 May 2017

Amanda Clayton's talk

On 29th April I visited the Colchester and Colne branch of The Embroiderers'  Guild  to hear Amanda Clayton's talk My blue suitcase and as I sat on the train on my way home l looked at an everyday item that I had carried with me all day - my train ticket. 






Next morning, in my workroom, I decided I would try to add odd items from my snippets box to make something unique which I could  add to my ideas book.

The ticket was too shiny so I gave it a good rub with some emery paper and painted it with cold tea. In the box I found a piece of calico from the edge of an unsuccessful collagraph print and some pieces of organdie.  I worked two parallel lines of running stitch along the edge of the calico and ruched it up slightly so it fitted on the ticket and I tore the organdie in two and frayed it.  I held the fabric on the ticket with a line of open chain stitch using an un-dyed linen thread.  I thought the open chain stitch looked a bit like the railway lines but the line was broken to represent the fractured return journey.







I further enhanced the ticket with some strands of bronze thread, a couple of daisies from a ribbon and a button which hid the ticket logo - just a few hours playing which will help me to remember an inspiring  Saturday morning.



Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Hurry; you have just got time to visit!


JOSEF FRANK – PATTERNS – FURNITURE – PAINTING

Room setting with at least 7 different prints


You have just got time to see this exhibition at the Fashion and Textiles Museum in London http://www.ftmlondon.org/ftm-exhibitions/josef-frank-patterns-furniture-painting/ as it ends on May 7th but I would recommend you do so.  I came out feeling refreshed and rejuvenated by the colours and designs of Josef Frank’s work.

The work of the designer and artist Josef Frank (1885-1967) is shown in the first-ever UK exhibition of his textiles. The Austrian-born architect moved to Sweden in 1933, where he developed his colourful brand of modernism, working with Estrid Ericson on furniture, glassware, lighting and interior design ideas. Together they redefined what is regarded as Swedish Modern. This exhibition in association with MillesgĂ„rden, Stockholm highlights Frank’s vibrant fabric designs for Svenskt Tenn alongside a number of his previously unknown watercolours.
Huge colourful pink and orange flowers burst across the wall as you enter the show, and it’s difficult not to smile.
Following through one is encompassed by large drapes of colourful and exciting colour and pattern.
Close up all the detail can be seen.


Josef Frank was a mid century architect, furniture designer and fabric print designer. This show focuses on Joseph’s prints, along with a selection of his watercolours upstairs. When Frank retired he turned to watercolour painting instead. These were not so much to my taste; a contrast to the rich flora and fauna of his textiles, but from here a dramatic view of the prints below.
Images courtesy of The Fashion and Textiles Museum



Monday, 10 April 2017

Out and about

On Saturday (8 April 2017) two members of EAST visited the East Yorkshire Embroidery Society at Cottingham to present our Between the Lines talk.  We had a really warm welcome and it was a lovely group to visit, set in a very nice village, close to Hull.   We did not have time to look around Hull but its station was full of flags advertising the fact that this year it is City of Culture (see below).



There is even an aircraft hanging from the roof - a copy of Amy Johnson's plane (a Hull girl) made by the prisoners and staff of the local prison.  

Another artwork in the station was a statue of poet Philip Larkin (below).


Despite the fact that it was a beautiful, sunny day, we were pleased to have about 90 members of the East Yorkshire Embroidery Society and we even managed to spend a few moments in their fabulous "pop up shop".  Susan is seen here (below) buying some silk fabric and I purchased a book on Elizabethan lace for just 50p.


And while we gave our talk our husbands took Susan and Colin's dog Briar to visit the local windmill and found a cafe selling cake.  It was carrot cake apparently so one of their "five a day"!

Coming home, sitting at Cottingham Station in the sunshine we had to sit a while with the birds singing and wild flowers blooming.  It reminded me of the poem Adelstrop which we had read just a few moments earlier as part of our talk - a moment of calm where nothing happens at a railway station.



Tonight (on Monday,10 April 2017), I will be much closer to home visiting Chelmsford Embroiderers' Guild in Chelmsford, Essex with a different talk Threads of Time.  Visitors wellcome.

For more information about EAST talks visit our talks webpage.


(Posted by Janette)

Friday, 10 February 2017

Changing Direction

Looking for a change of direction I have been visiting some exhibitions lately in the hope of finding inspiration.

A recent visit to the NCCD at Sleaford with Lorna where we met up with Mary Sleigh to see two exhibitions, the first of some wonderful weavings. Sadly no photography was allowed so no pictures here to show you. The second exhibition - 'Soft Engineering: Textiles Taking Shape' showed some wonderful skill and artistry, Alison Ellen's creative knitting, Ann Richard's wonderful woven Jewellery, although maybe better described as body sculpture. Ann uses a variety of mediums in her pieces metal, silk,linen and polyester to name but a few. She uses the different way each material reacts to wet finishing to create the twisted, pleated finish. Deidre Woods weavings, using a narrow loom to weave braid-like pieces which she then combines with folding to make complex forms.

My second outing was to attend Jane Callender's book launch at the Warner Textile Archive in Braintree. Jane is an acknowledged expert on Indigo and Shibori dyeing. I have been making some very inexpert attempts at Shibori recently, particularly attending a class with Jude Kingshott using stitched Shibori on previously Procion dyed fabric which is then overdyed with Indigo, and find myself fascinated by the technique. So maybe this is the way to go.



The final image here is pole wrapped Shibori on fabric pre-dyed with Pottasium Permanganate and then Indigo.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Strolling down the Silk Road


Today was another day when I had an appointment in London and just a short time to pop into an exhibition I had only recently heard about.  Embroidered Tales and Woven Dreams is a free exhibition at the Brunei Gallery at the School of Oriental and Asian Studies (SOAS), part of the London University and just off Russell Square, London WC1.  

It is a collection of some beautiful embroideries and weavings that are representative of lands along the ancient Silk Road.  The guest curator, Marian Bukhari apparently owns many of the pieces but there are also works from other collections.  I do not know if they have ever been displayed before but most can be looked at closely allowing the variety of stitching and weaving techniques to be examined.  

Some like this piece above, were displayed in such a way it was possible to see both sides of a piece of embroidery.


This particular pair of costumes were traditional Afghanistani pieces.

As well as textiles there are also some pieces of jewellery, books and art works.  In addition there are a series of public lecturers (again all free) and the exhibition continues until 25 March 2017.  The exhibition covers two floors.

The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am to 5pm (late nights on Thursdays until 8pm) but closed Sundays, Mondays and Bank Holidays.  It can be found in Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG.

I only spent a short time visiting today but I will definitely go back with my notebook and camera, and spend much longer.

Janette


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Bardfield Artists at Braintree Museum


The work above is by E.A.S.T artist, Susan Canfield, inspired by Edward Bawden, one of the Bardfield Artists and part of Threads of Time.    Now Bawden and the Bardfield Artists are the subject of a new exhibition at Braintree Museum, Essex, Life in an English Village.  

Susan and I were lucky enough to go along to the private view of this exhibition of prints and drawings.  Here I learnt how Edward Bawden RA and his friend Eric Ravilious had visited Great Bardfield as students, fell in love with the place and decided to move there.  Although the Bardfield Artists as they came to be known, along with John Aldridge RA, Kenneth Rowntree, Walter Hoyle, Sheila Robinson and Bernard Cheese, never saw themselves as a group or colony, they had a close connection which inspired ideas and techniques. 

I had really only learnt about the artists from seeing Susan's work and discussing them at our E.A.S.T meetings so it was really good to go together to see the exhibition.  Luckily as our meetings are held at Braintree Museum I will get to see the exhibition more than once - exhibitions are always more interesting when seen on several occasions.

The exhibition continues until 15 April 2017.  Braintree District Museum is in Manor Street, Braintree, CM7 3HW and open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.  Their website (www.braintreemuseum.co.uk) gives details of admission charges and events related to the exhibition.  

Janette