Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Chapter Thirteen - three textile artists

Jennie Rayment

The name, Jennie Rayment, was known to me as a textile artist but I did not realise what a wit and raconteur she was until in September 2014, she spent a couple of days with the Marlborough & District Embroiderers’ Guild. Jennie’s talk on the Monday was entitled “Trials & Tribulations of the Travelling Nipper & Tucker” so I might have guessed we were in for fun. Jennie travels the world talking to groups, attending conferences and shows and giving workshops showing her fabric manipulation in the form of tucks, pleats & various textures a number of which are transformed into quilts. She has written several books and has a regular slot on the Create & Craft TV channel.


Jennie told us hilarious stories about her travels whilst displaying really beautiful quilts which show her techniques. Various incidents at airports, the challenge of buying a pair of tights in the USA and the time she caught her skirt in her hotel bedroom. The grand finale of the afternoon was Jennie transforming into a Bunny Girl serving a tray of drinks.

I was not sure what to expect the following day for Jennie’s “Suduko with Texture" workshop. If we laughed as much as we did the day before how would we ever be able to complete the project.

I must say the day was one of the best workshops I have attended. Jennie’s instructions were first class, she demonstrated each stage of the 9 square suduko twice so those wanting to rush ahead could do so whilst those who wanted to take more time were not left behind. Each square showed a different technique and Jennie told us the aim was to finish the project in the workshop and I think most of the group achieved this. I would like to add some embroidery and beads to my work but this can be done in due course – I am determined not to hide it away in a drawer. This workshop helped me considerably with my current module of City & Guilds as I had to cover fabric manipulation as a topic and also research Jennie Rayment as a textile artist. 

My sudoko at the end of the workshop.  Jennie, I have to confess I still need to complete this piece of work however I have such fond memories of the day I know it will happen one day as I am so nearly there!

Thank you Jennie for letting me use these photos on my blog.  Here is Jennie’s website: 


Michael Brennand-Wood

brennand-wood-imageMichael’s name was known to me but unfortunately I have never seen any of his work. Researching the internet I found an interesting article by Diana Woolf on “the Making” website. Michael told Diana he got his interest at an early age from his grandmother who was an industrial weaver. She taught him to knit, sew and embroider and encouraged him to play with textiles. His grandfather was an engineer and had a workshop at the end of the garden and introduced Michael to working with metal and wood. These early experiences have greatly influenced his work today.

Michael wanted to study sculpture and fine arts at Manchester University but his portfolios showed more textile work so he was encouraged to follow in that direction. He went on to teach at Goldsmith’s College in London and has also taught and exhibited his work in various countries around the world including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Belgium.

mbw_large4mbw_large2michael flowersMichael-Brennand-Wood lace
The first stage of his career up to the mid 80s, was dominated by embroidery, and then from the mid 80s to the early 90s he spent a lot of time working with pattern. During the 90s he became fascinated by lace. And after 2001 he started working with traditions of floral textiles.

I have chosen to look more into a piece of Michael’s work which is quite near to where I live and hopefully I will be able to visit one day. In 2008 Michael was commissioned to create a wall piece for the bar area in the refurbished Colston Hall in Bristol. It is entitled “Celestial Music” and is made up of a series of different-sized flat metal discs, symbolising either a CD, album or single decorated with a series of music badges. 
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Brennand-Wood Colston Hall 2     Brennand-Wood Colston Hall closeup
In 2015 Michael was commissioned to create nine original pieces for the National Centre for Craft and Design at Sleaford in Lincolnshire and the exhibition was entitled Seeds of Memory and it explored his 40 year career using paper, collage as well as textiles.
Michael_Brenand-Wood seeds of memory

Coming up to date in March of this year Michael worked with Philip Sanderson at West Dean College and their workshop was using experimental textiles and later this year he will be exhibiting in Artmonte–Carlo, Geneva, Switzerland through an organisation called Taste which promotes artists who, as they say, “push the boundaries”.

Michael Brennand Wood’s imaginative and innovative work is so very different from anything I have seen before and I do hope I will have the opportunity of seeing it one day.


Amanda Hislop 

012Textile artist Amanda Hislop was our visiting speaker for the February 2014 meeting of the Marlborough & District Embroiderers’ Guild. Amanda started her talk by telling us that she trained at Farnham College specialising in weaving and included painting as her second subject. She then went on to become an art teacher for 17 years. 

After a school merger she decided to change track and she became self employed using the skills she had been taught for weaving, her drawing, painting and stitch. She showed us her grandfather’s sketchbook which she obviously treasured and displayed numerous other sketchbooks showing her initial inspiration for various pieces of work. Amanda concentrates on land and seascapes and has a wonderful collection of sketches, drawings and paintings to call upon.

Amanda displays her work with Prism Textiles, the exhibition group founded by the late Julia Caprara. The previous year the title was “Liminal – crossing the threshold” and she showed us the seascape she created. Amanda was working on the current year’s project and showed us her work in progress. She generously explained her technique in which she creates a collage on calico using various papers, paints, stitches and finally seals with acrylic wax and highlights with markel.
  Amanda Hislop
When you look at Amanda’s sketchbooks and then her completed piece you can see how her work progresses from being a brief sketch in a small book  into a more detailed watercolour and then into a beautiful piece of textile art.  It is a while since I saw Amanda’s sketchbooks and her beautiful textile landscapes but her talk did make me realise if I want to progress it is imperative to keep a sketchbook to help me with my work.

Thank you Amanda for letting me use these photos on my blog.  Here is Amanda’s website:

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