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.