I teach a variety of workshops. No one needs to be an expert to take these. My intent is to share my process so that students can adapt it for themselves. Slide shows, demos, samples and your adventures make the class. Embroidery, indeed many textile processes, proceed so slowly that I feel it's important to think through an idea, to do some planning, even though each piece will take on a life of its own. We brainstorm, have fun, and students do remarkable work. In the Vancouver, BC area, check the Maiwa School of Textiles website. They often offer my workshops.
I also give talks about my work, usually slanted to what the specific group will find interesting. I have documented my processes and have lots of background stories. Please email me if you have questions.
Map of the Ocean, detail
Mappa! 3 Days
“Mappa” is Latin for a square of cloth, and is the perfect vehicle for describing any kind of voyage. Each student will produce 3 small “samplers” that address aspects of both cartography and textile techniques in preparation for beginning a larger map that may continue to evolve. Looking at a range of historical maps and contemporary artists’ versions, we will discuss their forms and meanings. From global data visualization to a trip around the kitchen, maps are about narrative. What to include, what to leave out? This workshop will encourage an increased awareness of our own pathways –either remembered, imagined or projected– and develop a personal textile language to express them. Beginning with small, hand-drawn maps we will discuss the workings of space, line, and symbols. Techniques include simple surface design, hand embroidery and appliqué techniques. Beginners and up.
Blazing. Gulf of St Lawrence from Newfoundland.
Obsessive Chain Stitch 2 Days
Chain stitch is often used to embroider a line, but when it is packed together it becomes opulent, almost iridescent. Varying the thickness, direction and shading of threads, this workshop approaches how to achieve a sense of motion and depth. Embroidering in solid chain stitch is a sedimentary process requiring some simple drawing and planning. The way the stitches “travel” and overlap is important. After making a sampler exploring various thicknesses of thread and colour gradations, students will undertake a credit-card sized piece. We will explore which images are most suitable for this technique, and how to plan the work. Students will see a variety of images and original work including ways of finishing and presenting their pieces. This workshop is open to beginners and more experienced embroiderers looking to add skills to their repertoire.
The Postcard 3 hours
In this workshop, we will explore a variety of fabrics that we can use to build a postcard-sized image. After making a simple drawing, we will discuss ways to translate it into cloth. Using a simple but versatile “in and out” stitch, we will hand sew our little scenes with special attention to the colour and density of stitches. We will stiffen the piece and line the back, and you will have a postcard to frame, wrap or mail. Good for beginners.