Hawthorne & Heaney in Conversation with Laura Lees

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Fellow embroiderer, artist and designer Laura Lees is usually found creating highly colourful, fine art pieces furniture pieces but she took a little time away from her usual pursuits to speak with us about her work:

 

Hawthorne & Heaney: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today, we’d like to start by asking you the question we get asked quite a lot of how did you get into embroidery originally?
 
Laura Lees: I applied for a city and guilds embroidery course when I was 17 and fell in love with it then. I found my skills at drawing not exceptional but confident. I found a new level of ability with the needle and thread superior than that of drawing with a pencil.
H&H: And what is it that inspires you?
LL: The way you can transform something from the ordinary to the extraordinary. I love the feel of the threads, the sound the scissors make when they’re cutting fabric, the quality of line and the battering noise and speed of my beloved Bernina industrial sewing machine. most importantly, I love the clarity of heart and mind, the skill involved and the the fact that i am always learning.

H&H: What would you like your students to take away from your class?

LL: A real sense of achievement, pride and enjoyment.

H&H: Where can we see more of your works?

LL: I am preparing for an exhibition to take place at the end of the year, inspired by dutch author Joris Luyendijk s book ‘Swimmimg with Sharks’ which demistifys the financial world of the city banks. This resonated deeply with me, having amongst many others lost my fashion label in the 2008 crash.  I explore the ‘smoke and mirrors’ architectural language of finance by descending on what must be the least understood environment in Europe: the City of London. Taking the habitat of the so-called and self-described Masters of the Universe as my inspiration and translating the visceral world that lives and survives by opacity into tangeable abstract textiles.

H&H: Anything coming up in the pipeline you can share with us?

LL: I have recently launched The Mighty Stitch corporate workshops, The Mighty Stitch embroidery workshops teach teams a new skill, engendering engagement and motivation, ultimately creating a bespoke embroidered piece of art for your workplace. • Simple, supportive instruction • No experience needed, anyone can take part
Participants are encouraged to be playful and experimental – the workshops facilitate collaboration, communication, storytelling, mindfulness, and, most importantly, making a mess! Enhanced work environment we all need a bit of that, i think .

H&H: Thanks again, I’m sure we will be seeing much more of you with all that come up!

 

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Laura also has a Workshop coming up in April which will give the participants the opportunity to be a part of Laura’s work as the pieces created on the day will be encorporated into a new piece which will be exhibited at the RIBA as part of the London Festival of Architecture. Follow the link to secure your place for this intriguing and unusual opportunity:

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‘The Riba workshop is a full day, immersed in urban embroidery.  We will focus on how a city evolves through its inhabitants by learning freehand machine embroidery, hand stitching and applique. The outcome is to create an embroidered image of a building or architectural structure.  

Afterwards, I will explore how a city is fabricated by stitching together the individual and diverse pieces made by workshop participants into a new work to be exhibited a the RIBA as part of @londonfestivalofarchitecture

All artwork will be returned to the participants after the exhibition.
This workshop is part of the programme of events inspired by the exhibition ‘Mies van der Rohe and James Stirling: Circling the Square’. 

Urban Tapestry with Laura Lees, 22 & 23 April, 11am to 4pm
RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD
Booking at architecture.com/Workshop

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All images credited to Laura Lees

Hawthorne & Heaney at the Missoni Art Colour Exhibition

One of the most respected designer brands that has been in the creative industry for many years has ventured to London’s greatest Fashion and Textiles Museum to give you an insight into the creative processes of their italian fashion house. Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, the founders of Missoni, have developed their brand into various avenues across design world and we went to check out what Fashion, Interior and Art work the exhibition had to offer.

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Missoni Art Colour

The exhibition begins with a traditional art gallery layout where you see many inspiration paintings from abstract artists like Sonia Delaunay and Bella and Gino Severini. It is clear to see the similarities in all the paintings displayed highlighting what elements the couple liked and wanted to develop into their own designs.

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Ottavio Missoni chose to create many wall hangings made with knitted patchwork. Many of these are displayed around the exhibition so it is possible to see them both close up and from a distance. Although many colours are used throughout all of the wall hangings it is clear to see that all combinations have been carefully considered.

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Wall hangings – Missoni Art Colour

By creating wall hangings with no real structure other than the original construction allowed Ottavio to have a unique way of merging his interest of art and fashion. These wall hangings were the basis and textile research for when he developed his work in a new form to produce fashion collections.

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Garment collection – Missoni Art Colour

By creating wall hangings with no real structure other than the original construction allowed Ottavio to have a unique way of merging his interest of art and fashion. These wall hangings were the basis and textile research for when he developed his work in a new form to produce fashion collections.

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Missoni knitted jumper, iconic ‘Made in Italy’ label – Missoni Art Colour

Missoni is well known for its fashion collections but also a lot of its woven materials have been used in the interior industry. A room is dedicated to many mirrors and carpets all using the Missoni patterns. An exclusive documentary is played in this room which gives you more of an insight to the makings of all avenues of the Missoni brand from the perspective of the Missoni family themselves.

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Interior room – Missoni Art Colour

 

If you would like to visit this exhibition it is on from 6 May – 4 September 2016.

Open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am–6pm

Thursdays until 8pm

Sundays, 11am–5pm

Last admission 45 minutes before closing

Closed Mondays

£9.90 adults  / £7.70 concessions / £6 students

By Philippa Martin

Hawthorne & Heaney for Laurence Weiner

'Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Distance' at Blenheim Palace.

Conceptual Artist Laurence Weiner has an exhibition currently on at Surrey’s Bleinham Palace entitled; ‘Within a realm of Distance’. The exhibition explores the much favoured themes of Weiners work; simultaneity, intergration and inpiration of a parodoxical nature with ones environment. This is largely done through the subtle placement of small pieces within the palaces’ own architecture, with the eye being drawn to the curves of the archways and ceilings for example.

(2015), 'Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Distance' at Blenheim Palace.

MORE THAN ENOUGH (2015), ‘Lawrence Weiner: Within a Realm of Distance’ at Blenheim Palace. Courtesy of Blenheim Art Foundation. Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Hawthorne & Heaney were responsible for some of the most understated of the pieces in the exhibiton, small blue frames, containing embroidered text such as:

FOUND BY CHANCE AFTER ANY GIVEN TIME

FOUND WHERESOEVER IT IS AFTER ANY GIVEN TIME

FOUND DUE TO PROXIMITY AFTER ANY GIVEN TIME

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The exhibition is on at the moment at Blenheim Palace until the 20th December, please use the link for more details.

Hawthorne & Heaney at Mademoiselle Prive

As with all of Saachi‘s exhibitions, there is plenty to see at the Mademoiselle Prive Exhibition which is currently on show. By the nature of the building, you become completely emersed into the brand once you are in and I was surpised to find that the exhibition was more about the brand itself rather than the products that they create. This said, there is no shortage of things to see with rooms dedicated to the fragrances, jewellery collection, fashion, fabrics, symbols and gardens of the House of Chanel.

As there is so much to include, we would just like to share a few of our highlights from an embroidery perspective. The textures room  is a great one to visit as they have huge swathes of the classic Chanel cloths hanging from the ceiling for you to wander through and brush off. This also links in with the presentation of some of the symbols and ‘lucky charms’ of Chanel such as the interlocking ‘Cs’, Wheat, Pearls and Camellias which once highlighted, you can fail to see everywhere.

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In the upper rooms, they are holding workshops through out the day, if you are lucky enough to get a place on one where they are teaching embroidery, flower making and fragrance combinations. It is here that there were what was the most interesting part from an embrodierers persepctive, the samples from Lesage and Lemarie. The combinations of textures and classic Chanel elements were really lovely.

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There were was also a display of some of the Lemarie Camillias that can be seen dotted through the collections and the tools they use to make them. The antique look to the tools reminds you how distingished this House is, but by the way they make them and continue to use them keeps the final product looking fresh and modern.

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The garments themseleves take somewhat of a back seat in this exhibition, used simply to display the diamonds against in one room and as a stand for the embroidered fabrics in the other. In this room there is plenty of tambour bead work, feather and fabric manipulation to enjoy, inpiration for any budding designer.

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The Mademoiselle Prive Exhibition is only on until 1st November 2015, so don’t miss out on your chance to see it while its in London and pick your own highlights from what is on show.

Hawthorne & Heaney Visits The Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition

London seems to be alive with fashion exhibitions and installations at the moment so Hawthorne & Heaney have been making the most of the location privilages and have been enjoying the culture on offer. One such opportunity is at the Louis Vuitton’s Series 3 exhibition on the Strand.

The exhibition is staged as a walk through Nicolas Ghesquiere’s mind coming in underneath a hugely imposing hanging ball grid structure in a highly mirrored room, a theme that runs throughout.

The exhibition is a great example of how technology and fashion can come together as art, which is effectively used in the laser room. Green lasers from the ceiling cut down around what seem to be meaningless shapes below but as time goes on, and all the pieces are cut out, they come together seamlessly to form a shoe or a handbag. This then slowly transforms into the CAD mock up of the finished piece with all its fastenings and details.

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You then move on to see a more real world explanation of the making of the Petite Malle bags in the Artists hands room where close up videos are shown of how the bags are put togther. This is then renforced by as you are also able to interact the the makers in person in the Craftsmanship room.IMG_1993IMG_1995

Seeing the makers constructing in person really helps to give a sense of the difficulty and intricacy of these bags which are made like trunks, but on a much tinier scale. This combination of rooms flows easily through the design process, from idea to drawing and development, to the construction and realisation. IMG_1991

There is a little look back at the history of the trunks, from some of the earliest made pieces to others that show their development in size, shape and material in a dazzlingly white room.lv_s3_accessories

Finally there is the rare opportunity to see upclose some of the garments that you have been watching walk towards you throughout the exhibiton, but more so to feel them as they are hung in a giant perpex wardrobe installation. This demonstrated the variety of fabrics and qualities that have been used in the collection including whitework lace, jaquard, leather, fur and diamantes.IMG_1998  IMG_1999As an embroiderer this last room and the craftsmanship rooms were probably the most interesting of the exhibition as they give a good understanding of the craft and techniques used in their creation. One does leave the exhibition feeling a little disorientated by all the mirrors and lights which drew the attention away from the skills themselves. However from the general public’s point of view this provides an interesting fusion of technology and art whilst perhaps giving a little glimpse at the chaos of Ghesquiere’s mind.

If you would like to see the exhibition and decide for yourself, it is on until the 18th October at 180 The Strand, entry is free so make the most of it!

Hawthorne & Heaney for Sam Faulkner’s ‘Unseen Waterloo’

SF 1Hawthorne & Heaney have been working very closely with Photographer, Sam Faulkner on his ambitious, most recent project entitled, Unseen Waterloo.

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For this project he has created a series of 81 life sized portraits which re imagine the soldiers from the battle of Waterloo, 1815. A painstaking amount of detail has gone into producing these portraits as all the costumes are historically accurate and document the great variety of men who were lost at this battle. The portraits were hung at Somerset House against a great sea of scarlet red Hainsworth fabric, which is the same cloth used to make the traditional ‘red coat’ uniforms which is still being made in the same way hundreds of years later in the West Yorkshire Mill.
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Along side the exhibition of the portraits, a book has been created to accumulate the pieces. The ‘Thin Red Line’ edition of the book is limited to a run of only 25 pieces, embroidered by Hawthorne & Heaney in silver onto the same Hainsworth fabric and presented in its own embroidered solander box. The cover depicts a map of the battlefield of Waterloo using a variety of stitches to represent the different areas and features of the landscape. As a military embroidery company, the collaboration between Hawthorne & Heaney and a project of this nature seemed natural and we are very pleased to have been involved in making Faulkner’s vision, a reality in the anniversary year of such a historic event.

sf4If you would like to seem more of the exhibition, Sam Faulkner‘s work or what is on at Somerset House, please follow the links and your curiosity.

 

Hawthorne & Heaney for Carne Griffiths, Embroidery in Art

Once again, Hawthorne & Heaney has had the pleasure of working with the artist Carne Griffiths on some of his new pieces in preparation for his upcoming solo exhibition.  Griffiths’s addition of embroidery suit his drawing style and use of colour very well as the stitches are absorbed into the piece and are accepted as another stroke or mark. The use of the embroidery draws on Griffith’s own history as a gold wire draftsman which is demonstrated in his subtle and considered choice of stitch.

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A range of Griffiths’ work will be on display at the Ink’d gallery in Brighton for his solo exhibition called ‘Origins’ from the 6th September to 5th October 2014. This follows his previous successful exhibition with them back in 2012 and will feature some of the hand embroidered pieces along with a range from his collection.

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There is also several opportunities to get involved and meet the man himself, there will be a raffle held throughout the exhibition if you fancy the chance to win a commission by Griffiths which will be selected at the end of the show. He will be holding a 3 hour workshop on working with tea, alcohol, pens and ink spills in his distinctive style. The workshop will be held in the Ink’d Gallery on the 27th September, 11-3, places are limited so don’t delay if you want a place!

 

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New Mayfair Office for Hawthorne & Heaney

Those of you who follow us on social media may have already guessed from some of the hints we have been dropping in our excitement, but for those of you that missed them Hawthorne & Heaney is now in Mayfair.

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Following in the footsteps of some of the greats and a fair few of our loyal customers, Hawthorne & Heaney will now have an office in Mill Street.  Minutes from Savile Row and sharing an office with the lovely Dugdale Bros, Merchants of high quality heritage cloth, to create a textile hotspot in the very center of London

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Dugdale Bros & Co. is based in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, but the new central London office is essential for the progression of collaborations.  Being in closer proximity to clients and being accessible by a short walk from any where is mayfair is an asset that both companies will greatly benefit from.   Specialising in high end English Cloth, Dugdales harnesses the advantages of the soft Yorkshire water to produce over 2000 materials. These range from their traditional cloths upon which they built their name, to new ranges released each year to meet current trends and technological advances, so there is always something to suit even the most discerning customer.

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Here is a few sneaky pictures of the befores to wet your appetite.   Stay posted for more details and book an appointment to come and visit us soon !