Land Lines, Drawn Lines and Stitch Lines with Amanda Hislop

On Monday 17 June, textile artist Amanda Hislop came to talk to us about her beautiful work. She lives in Oxfordshire and her studio is a summerhouse in her garden.

Amanda has always had a love for painting. She originally trained as a weaver and later went on to work as an art teacher. Now she works as a textile artist, exhibiting her own work, giving talks and running workshops.

She draws her inspiration from landscapes and seascapes and suggested that a good starting point was to 'paint what you know'.

She creates sketchbooks, recording her ideas and observations with a fountain pen, before moving on to fabric, paper, stitch and paint, working in subtle colours. She uses a variety of fabrics and paper, which she prepares for painting and stitch. Working in layers of fabric, paper, paint and stitch, Amanda transforms her sketches into wonderful glimpses of her surroundings.

Amanda is a member of the Prism group of textile artists and the Oxfordshire Craft Guild.

Thank you very much Amanda, for coming to talk to us. It was inspiring to see your wonderful work. We are all looking forward to the workshop on Saturday, when we hope to learn a few of your amazing techniques.

The Embroidered Furnishings of Lethbridge Sisters with Dr Lynn Hulse

Lady Julia Carew at her embroidery frame
Dr Lynn Hulse came to talk to us on Monday 20 May 2019 about the Lethbridge Sisters and their wonderful embroideries. Lynn, who has a background in 17th century English music, studied at the Royal School of  Needlework (RSN) in 2003. She is also an archivist and went on to catalogue part of the RSN's collection.

The Lethbridge sisters, Lady Julia Carew (1863-1922) and Lady Jane Cory (1864-1947) also studied with the RSN, formerly known at the Royal School of Art Needlework. They became very well known for their embroideries with which they furnished their Irish and London homes.

Working from outlines, Julia and Jane used vegetable dyes to colour their woollen and silk threads and used a modest range of stitches, including long and short, stem, satin stitch and French knots.

Julia's passion was for antique embroidery and crewel work in the Jacobean style.

Sample of The Tree of Life at Girton College
She created 13 panels, measuring 11ft by 4ft for Castleboro, her Irish home. When the house was destroyed in 1922, the embroideries were dispersed. Examples of her panels can be seen at Girton College, Cambridge and there are examples of upholstery at Hartlebury Castle.



Jane's embroideries were more naturalistic in style and included designs by Nellie Whichelo (The Pomegranate Tree).

'Flora' and 'Pomona' are based on designs created by Edward Burne-Jones for William Morris & Co. A collection of Jane's work is now in the Te Papa museum in New Zealand.

Thank you Lynn, for giving us such a fascinating talk. The size of the wall panels is hard to comprehend but must have look amazing when hung in the splendour of their homes.

Tiny Treasures Workshop with Marilyn Pipe

We met up at Goodworth Clatford Village Club on Saturday 27 April 2019 for an inspirational and entertaining workshop with Marilyn Pipe. Here are some of the pictures of our work throughout the day. Using fabric dyes on fabrics, paper and lace some beautiful designs emerged.

Many thanks Marilyn for such an enjoyable day. 'Show and Tell' at our next meeting will be very colourful!

Textile Nomad with Marilyn Pipe

Long standing Denman College tutor Marilyn Pipe gave us an evening full of laughs when she visited the Branch on Monday 15 April 2019, to share stories about her textile journey. 

A very lively character, she recalled how professional house sitting gave her the opportunity to pursue her interest in embroidery and textiles – moving her machine and projects around with her – once setting up in a conservatory only to find the next, very wet, morning that the roof had blown off!  

An encounter with the owners of Rainbow Silks in Great Missenden led to her career as a teacher – while still studying for her City and Guilds – and eccentric solo trips to Germany and later Egypt followed where she had to carry all her materials with her - including 21 sachets of rather dodgy looking white power. Don’t worry it was simply powdered glue, but her story had everyone literally in stitches.

During 11 years with Rainbow Silks she even enjoyed a stint as the textile show van driver, but her main role was as resident tutor where she got to experiment with new products and techniques and it was obvious that pushing the boundaries of materials is her forte. 

She has now been working with Denman for over ten years but still spends much of her time on the road, speaking and teaching across the country. On one occasion she was asked by the WI to lecture, only to find it was to 500 people on two consecutive days and then teach 129 who had signed up for her course.

She brought many beautiful samples of her work with her and everyone enjoyed hearing about the results she has achieved with Tyvek, Kunin felts and velvets, rusting, silk ribbon work and seeing the stippling technique she has created using baking racks and even a chip pan basket! 

Her enthusiasm is boundless and her ‘paper bag but not as you know it’ really caught the imagination of members and there is now talk of her returning to us for a workshop on that in the future. 

The Branch is looking forward to welcoming Marilyn back in a couple of weeks to a workshop of Tiny Treasure journals and no doubt a good deal of laughter.