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.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Drawing for Textiles

Lorna's blog for EAST -

"In October Libby and I had the privilege of a trip to West Dean College in Sussex for a 5 day course with Mathew Harris called ‘Drawing for Textiles’.
It was I felt a very relaxed course, which I thoroughly enjoyed, just what I needed to set me up for the winter.

The first day Mathew set up a lot of items hanging together, like an installation, and told up to draw the whole using in pencil looking only at the subject and not removing our pencil from the page, this caused some interesting results.  Next we were told to draw the subject again using light pencil for distance, medium pencil for midway views and heavy pencil for items close to us, he also said to move around drawing from differing angles and views. This again produced some interesting results, some people seemed to have difficulty interpreting this idea, but I think we found it interesting.

After this it was up to us, with Mathew’s advice, to add some colour and use our drawings to consider what we would do with them for design. I managed to find several great ideas and some which did not work at all.  Many of the group then went into needle and thread to interpret their ideas, but I stayed with drawing and collage which I found very rewarding. All in all a very enjoyable week.

Libby and I stayed an extra night to avoid the Friday afternoon M25 rush, we had a lovely walk in the beautiful grounds and a nice relaxing evening in the lounge.  My thanks go to Libby for all the driving which is much appreciated."

Friday, 14 October 2016

Edward Hopper

One of the events I attended at the Cheltenham Literature Festival was a lecture on the American artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967) given by the art historian and critic Rosalind Ormiston.  The talk was called Edward Hopper: The darker side of the American dream.

I chose this event because both Alfred Hitchcock and Cornelia Parker had used Edward Hopper's House by the Railroad as the inspiration for their work, Hitchcock, for the house in the film Psycho, and Parker for The Roof Garden Commission, on show this Autumn at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Ormiston pointed out how Hopper's work portrays the loneliness of city living.  In many of his paintings, a figure (often using his wife as a model, an accomplished artist in her own right) is placed to one side of the canvas, gazing out of a window or door, suggesting all sorts of questions for the viewer's mind, while in others, the scene simply depicts sunlight casting shadows on an empty room.  Hopper, who was fascinated by light, eschewed the artistic trends of the day and "ploughed his own furrow" until his death.

Several facts drew Hopper to my attention.  He was born the same year as Virginia Woolf,  I had seen Cornelia Parker talking about her installation and my drawing teacher is always emphasising the importance of showing how the light falls on any subject I am trying (not very successfully) to recreate on paper.

                                              The House by the Railroad Edward Hopper

Monday, 3 October 2016

Opus Anglicanum

If you are able, spend a day in London before Sunday 5th February 2017 and visit the Opus Anglicanum exhibition at the V&A.  It celebrates a time when English work (Opus Anglicanum) was sought after by popes, churches, wealthy families across Europe and as diplomatic gifts. Techniques which are still in use today, split stitch and couching, were employed by professional artists (skilled women and men) in workshops behind St. Paul's Cathedral and in Cheapside from the late 12th to the mid 14th centuries. One misconception was that nuns were responsible for the work but recent knowledge has shown that towards the end of the period, workshops led by men were the norm.

Much of the  needlework on display was on linen or silk cloth lined with linen. The silk was imported from China or Italy along with threads which had been especially dyed. Copes, chasubles or orphreys were stitched with scenes from the life of Christ, interspersed with flora and fauna, for use in ecclesiastical ceremonies.

Over half the exhibits in the exhibition are from the V&A collection whilst the remainder have been borrowed from various establishments across Europe and North America.  Some of the items are for secular use - for example, the surcoat worn by Edward, the Black Prince, along with his shield, two seal bags, a pair of Episcopal shoes from the tomb of Archbishop Herbert Walter (1170-1200) in Westminster Abbey, and horse coverings.  You can also see a large wooden chest which was used to store copes.

One of the most fascinating exhibits was a piece which showed both sides of the work.  This had been executed on velvet so it was easy to see the relief.  Also, a couple of copes still had seed pearls as part of the decoration, intact.

The images below show a  detail from the Jesse Cope, 1310-25, from the V&A collection and a musical angel on horseback from the Steeple Aston Cope,1330-40, loaned by the church wardens at Steeple Aston in Oxfordshire.

I urge you all to go along and be stunned (and humbled) by textiles which are over seven hundred years old. I had a lovely day.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

21 today

EAST is 21 years old this month and we had a small tea party to celebrate.  Members were joined by friends, Braintree Museum and Warner Textile Archive staff.  Some past EAST members were also able to join us.

As with all great celebrations we had a celebratory cake, our one kindly made by Anthea.  We had live music too supplied by Larry Berkovitz.

Thanks to everyone who made the afternoon a success.
More photos to follow.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

EAST member exhibits at Eagle Gallery - 10 to 17 September 2016

EAST member, Jenny Leslie is exhibiting with another artist Joanna Stone at the Eagle Gallery in Bedford from the 10 to 17th September 2016.

The gallery can be found at -

101 Castle Road
MK40 3QP

Monday, 1 August 2016

East weekend workshop

Returned last evening from an exhilarating if tiring Group weekend workshop with wonderful Diane Bates. Almost all of us were there including our mentor Anthea Godfrey, just Ellen and Janette missing the fun, although Janette managed a visit yesterday afternoon.

Anthea and Susan during the Saturday evening discussion.
A 3d piece by Lorna
Work by Melinda
Another 3D piece this time Anthea's
Libby, Anthea and Lorna and above some of Libby's work.
Tricia and felicity hard at work and to the right a piece if Felicity's work.                        


We all had a great time and maybe some of the work will feature in future exhibitions. Also our thanks must go to the Zinc Arts Centre in Chipping Ongar (Essex) for the use of their excellent facilities andfriendly staff.


Wednesday, 13 July 2016


When storing work for other members of the EAST group it is important to have good security - a guard dog is a good method, or as here a guard cat!