Wednesday 6 April 2016

April Meeting - Harriet Lawton

Our speaker this month was Harriet Lawton. She may have already come to your attention with articles in the May/June 2013 and Sept/Oct 2013 issues of Embroidery Magazine. These magazine articles showcased Harriet's work for her BA in Embroidery from Manchester MMU and featured the installation of large 'ceramics' she made for the new Manchester School of Art building.

Harriet Lawton: Cafe Gallery installation 2013
 (image taken from her website)

Harriet's talk gave us a whistle stop tour of her time at Manchester, and how her career has developed since graduation. She talked about her love of objects and collections, and how this has been a major theme in much of her work. In her second year, she looked at the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, where repairs, rather than being made invisible are accentuated with gold. Harriet took this into embroidery by mending broken ceramics using voile and organza with insertion stitches, darning and faggoting.

Harriet Lawton: Hand-Stitch Perspectives, Japanese Kintsugi Plate and Teacup
(image taken from her website)
This led on to working with the ceramics directly, using water jet cutters to cut isolated motifs and borders from damaged plates to create new works and installations.

Harriet Lawton: Circular Edge Composition
(image from Harriet's website)

Harriet realised that she was becoming a Fine Artist rather than an Embroiderer, although her work still draws heavily on textile techniques. For her Cafe Gallery installation, she digitally printed images of ceramics onto shiny fabrics which were then bonded to many layers of vilene, creating pieces that on first inspection appeared to be ceramic, and she brought examples of these techniques for us to look at - and touch!

Since graduation, Harriet has had a residency in Madrid, has her own studio, and teaches both here and abroad. She is currently working with the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection on the project 'Cataloguing Padiham' inviting local residents to record their impressions of Padiham. An exhibition at Gawthorpe Hall will open later this year.

This was a really interesting talk (accompanied by lots of samples and work to look at) and highlighted how contemporary 'Embroidery' can be.

Other things . . .
The Coach trip to Manchester for the Guild AGM on Saturday 7th May 2016 departs from the Folk Hall at 7.30am. Judith Johnson will be 'in charge' on the day as Sue is taking part in Pocklington Open Studios and is unable to join us. There is no meeting at the Folk Hall that day.

The usual July meeting has been replaced by a trip to Scampston Hall to see the Capability Brown exhibition. Please let the committee know if you are available to car share. Further details later. If you are planning to visit Scampston independently, please note we have been advised it is closed to visitors on Friday 10th June (although this doesn't show up on their website here)

As we are not having a proper July meeting, we have added an August meeting on 6th August. This is the Big Stitch Day. See the Programme page for more details.

Library. We will be having a stock take of our library books at the August meeting. Please return all your borrowed books at or before this meeting.