Just as you enter the V&A from the Grand Entrance on Cromwell Road, to your left you will come to this wonderful exhibit about the life of John Lockwood Kipling, Father of the famous poet, Rudyard Kipling. It’s not all that often that you get the opportunity to see this kind of Indian heritage, but on display at this exhibition, your senses are spoilt. Historical pictures of India through the Victorian ages, fused together with Lockwood Kipling’s own illustrations, structural designs and photography of his students in Mumbai.
In addition to our own classes and exhibiting work at Anderson and Sheppard, we also were demonstrating goldwork at Smythson’s LCW event. They had a series of craftspeople set up in store to show some of the process that their items go through.
At the front of the store, Meg was positioned, drafting and embroidering the Smythson’s ‘S’ into a bespoke badge. This piece will have been drafted, raised, appliqued and embroidered with cutwork bullion.
On another counter, one of their book binders was stationed, explianing the properties of the binding process that thie products go through, the importance of using 2 types of glue for each piece and why they have maintained their hand processes over using machines. Finally they had another lady applying the tissue linings into their envelopes which also all done by hand.
They also had a lady doing freehand calligraphy, where you could write down your name for her and she would draw it out on a card for you to take home.
There were so many great ways to get involved with Craft Week this year, we cant wait to see what they will have on next year as it gets bigger and bigger each year!
London Craft Week opens London’s studios and shops giving you an insight into the amazing industries around the city. By inviting you to see what amazing crafts happen, often behind the scenes with demonstrations and viewings and showing you skills and techniques traditional and recent. Hawthorne & Heaney have been very busy soaking up all that London has to offer this week, so far we have visited:
Nest design at Blacks Club- Soho.
This is an extraordinary interior company, with delightful staff explaining the fabric origins, methods of designing and previous client projects. Nest have an amazing collection of fabrics from all over the world; linens, velvet, silks, lace as well as dyed materials such as shibori and Tussar silk.
If you love fabrics and a variety of them it’s definitely worth heading over to Nest at Blacks to talk about the collection of beautiful samples as well as the great projects they have made.
Example of a client project in Spring Restaurant, Somerset House (photo taken from Nest design.co.uk) Beautiful lines of stitch, layering and vintage lace are highlighted as well as different opacities of linens.
Christian Louboutin -Mayfair
The Christian Louboutin shop was demonstrating leather tassel making which is part of their personalisation service of the shoe. The construction of these leather tassels was amazing to watch, the demonstrator did not speak English however the skill he had constructing the leather strips into delicate but fun tassels was a great process to watch and learn. It inspires you to have a go at making such decoration as he made it look so easy. (definitely isn’t easy!)
Example of the hand made leather tassels on a boat style shoe.
As you approached Fretta the window display was a wall of work of art with a painter part way through painting a full size design of flowers and leafs
The experience in Fretta was a treat with very helpful staff showing you around the shop, explaining fabrics, as well as browsing the beautiful luxury fabrics.
I spoke to Lucia Surace (CRM & Marketing Manager) who was able to show me through the personalisation of the collection and previous examples of embroidered items. The quality of fabrics they have there are so lovely, these including, bed linens made from egyptian cotton, throws and blankets made from cashmere, wool and silk, as well as table linens and towels.
Clients for the embroidery personalisation are often for mass for example for cruise ship towels.
Above right: example of embroidered towels, part of their personalisation service.
Above left: table linens with the popular lace hole boarder.
Above: photo of Fetta’s embroidered table linen.
I found Fretta well worth a visit to see the style and quality that they produce and to learn from the staff there.
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles – At Temple Gallery
Above image: Example of traditional Thai embroidery on garments in at Temple Gallery
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles was founded by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit within the Grand Palace grounds in Bangkok and officially opened in 2012. This will be the museum’s first London visit, celebrating the Khon, Thailand’s oldest narrative dance forms. This exhibit is placed in the most beautiful building, Temple Gallery, located just a short walk from Temple Station. On display at the exhibit is a wonderful array of various examples of the skill which has been used to make such magnificent garments, passed down through generations, to even make garments suitable to be worn by people now.
Images above: Examples of the traditional Thai garments on display, as well as a close up of the lavish accessories
In this exhibit, we see cultures come together. There were embroidery techniques that have been apparent in our own culture for centuries, examples of this we see in our heritage museums. What a treat it was to see them on traditional Thai garments in such a wonderful building, and just like us, the skill of all of this has been lovingly passed on through generations, person to person.
Images above: examples of Goldwork on a traditional Thai collar
The Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles was founded on Her Majesty’s efforts to ensure the preservation of Thailand’s textile arts for future generations. In 1976 the museum was established with the objective to help people in rural areas to gain supplementary income and in doing this, Her Majesty realised just how wonderful and truly unique the hand woven silk by villagers is.
Making A Mackintosh – At Mackintosh
Above Image: Equipment used by Mackintosh
Glasgow has always been known for its work ethic and producing hand made goods and of course its tireless war efforts. Hard working Glaswegians have been producing Mackintosh coats since 1824!
Above Image: Demonstration of the rubber glue being applied to pattern pieces
On entering, I was warmly welcomed by the lovely Factory and Production Managers of the Mackintosh factory in Glasgow, Scott Sheridan and John McGuire who have worked for the Mackintosh factory for 40 years. They gave me a fantastic demonstration on how the pattern pieces are glued, attached and arranged to ensure that they are functional and waterproof.
Above Images: Glue being applied to the button-fly of the coat, then the piece is folded over and a heavy rolling tool is applied to ensure the two pieces have stuck with no air bubbles
The demonstration was very engaging, it was so informative seeing how much time and care goes into one coat. On a basic coat, there is 25 pattern pieces, and each one is passed through different departments in the Glasgow factory before completion. I watched on as they applied glue to the pattern pieces with their index fingers, using a lot of force and pressure to get the technique correct, using the same tools and glue that the people who did it before them would have used.
Above Image: Example of the pocket patterns, tin of glue and traditional rolling tool
It is very obvious on going to this exhibit to see that Mackintosh is a company of tradition and efficiency. It was a treat for me to be able to see this tradition which has carried on through different generations and also have explained to me how the company has expanded to keep up with popular demands, cultural and even climate changes through the years. Such as detachable collars/hoods, varying fabrics and changes in the way we use our coats and what for. The traditional Mackintosh coats are still made in Glasgow, with the same glue and the same equipment as they always have been.
Shoe Making at Edward Green
Above images: Left: Demonstration of Andy Peach sewing the two front pieces that make the shoe. Right image: See front seam for example of what Andy is currently working on
Above Image: Close up of stitching on shoe, done with boar hair
Northampton has always been closely associated with shoemaking and that became very apparent to me upon entering this exhibit at Edward Green and seeing the demonstration. Andy Peach, a fantastic hand sewer who has worked making shoes for Edward Green for over 30 years gave me and a small audience a fantastic demonstration. He was very honest about his work and the methods which he uses. I was able to see him begin the sewing of the two front parts of the shoe together. He carefully inserts a sharp tool into half of the leather, which is the best calf’s leather which has been cut by hand. He then threads Chinese boar hair into that hole to attach the two pieces. He says that they use boar’s hair as over time cotton would rot and these shoes are made to last a lifetime!
Above Image: Example of the “stirrup” and Andy wearing the shoes pictured above which he is also making
The stirrup is used traditionally to keep everything attached to the knee where most of the work is happening, effectively working like an elastic band, keeping both hands free to focus on the stitching. He works on this piece for 15-20 minutes and tells me that this one small area of the shoe can take up to 2 hours to be completed, which it then it goes on to other departments to be finished and finalised by the staff at the factory in Northampton. The handwork that must go into one pair of shoes was exquisite to see.
Emblem by Rose At St James Pavilion
Above Image: The screen printing equipment Rose works with
Emblem by Rose is a beautiful independent, up and coming screen printing company. Everything Emblem states to do, is done by Rose entirely on her own, and speaking with her on Thursday made that evident to me. Visitors were even able to commission their own ties if they should wish to. This alone made me feel like Rose is very passionate about what she does and communicates what Emblem as a small independent company is all about.
Above Images: Rose Demonstrating the printing process with screen and also squeegee
Sadly I didn’t get to this exhibit in time to see any demonstrations, but Rose was wonderful to speak with. She really engaged with her audience and spoke honestly about her work and why she is so passionate about making bespoke designs for her clients. She spoke of how she is always trying out new techniques with mixed media and programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator to make her work more efficient and durable for the client. All imagery is designed and drawn by Rose, before being transferred into a screen to be printed onto silk scarves. Despite not having any demonstration, Rose was very good at explaining the printing process to me, she was a delight to speak with.
London Craft Week will be finishes on Sunday 7th May so see what you can before it is all over this year, click here to go to the website for full listings. We can not wait to see what next year will bring!
Written by Phillipa Lloyd & Amelia Beaumont-Dodd
Along side our Monogramming for Handkerchiefs class on the 4th May, we are also holding a Monogramming for Cufflinks class on the 5th May. You can join us to learn the delicate art of monogramming and leave with your own monogrammed cufflinks at the end. Follow the link to secure your place as spaces are strictly limited, tickets are £60 plus VAT and can only be bought directly from the London Craft Week Website.
Central Saint Martins graduate and one of London’s newest emerging designers, Molly Goddard, is holding a new, interactive exhibition at Greenwich’s NOW Gallery where you are invited to sit and embroider one of her floor to ceiling tulle dresses for free. When an opportunity like this comes up we just had to go and check it out for ourselves!
In one large, sunlit room, the six colourful oversized dresses hang from the ceiling on pulleys so that the whole length of the dress can eventually be covered. You are encouraged to sit on one of the chairs around the dresses and embroider absolutely anything you like on them.
For Molly, the exhibition is about people ‘enjoying doing something with their hands’ and she hopes that people from all walks of life will come and make their mark on one of her dresses.
Around the room are simple and clear instructions for basic embroidery stitches, meaning anyone from an absolute beginner to an embroidery artist can come and express their creativity on the dresses. This is such a lovely way for everyone to experience embroidery and is a fun way to introduce people to the traditional craft. The whole exhibition is also very child friendly with blunt, plastic needles and scissors attached to a chain in the centre, making it an excellent activity for the whole family to take part in.
Collecting a oversized needle and some thread from the central podium, I chose a blank space and began to stitch directly onto the tulle. The whole experience was very relaxing and there was no pressure on what you did with the thread so you could just experiment and let your imagination run wild!
Each little stitch helps the dresses to grow and evolve and it was very exciting to be able to add my own personal mark amongst all the others in what feels like a huge community project.
The exhibition only opened and already the bottom of the dresses are filling up with an array of interesting designs and colour from a variety of different people. I can’t wait to see what they will look in February when the exhibition closes and one of the dresses will be auctioned off for charity.
Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of this very unique interactive art installation!
The exhibition runs from 4 November 2016 to 19 February 2017
Monday to Friday 10am – 7pm
Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm
Closed for Christmas 24 December – 2nd January
The Gateway Pavilions
By Jessica Eykel
For those that don’t know Hawthorne & Heaney have moved into a fabulous new studio located in 14 Rathbone Place, Fitzrovia. A short walk from Tottenham Court Road station the new studio is spacious, airy and bright with 3 studio spaces.
The studio now has multifunctioning rooms and our sister company London Embroidery School is using one of those rooms to host embroidery classes to learn techniques such as Goldwork and Tambour. Check out the website here to see what they have to offer:
With such ample space we are able to be uber creative and this week our embroiderer Natasha has been working on creating goldwork inspired embroidery with a variation of metallic threads.
Throughout history Fitzrovia has been home to many inspiration creatives such as the English writer Virginia Woolf and Nobel Prize Winner George Bernard Shaw, whose famous playwright ‘Pygmalion’ was later adapted into an American musical called ‘My Fair Lady’ 1964.
Fitzrovia is also famous for the local ‘Fitzroy Tavern’ located in Charlotte Street. In the 1920’s it became the hub for artists, tradesmen and intellectuals.
The latest big project in Fitzrovia has been the Great Portland Estates redevelopment of the former Royal Mail site between Rathbone Place and Newman Street. The site comprises 2.3 acres of land which will be created into a new public square with high quality offices, retail spaces and 162 residential apartments. Facebooks new UK headquarters will be located here.
It seems that we are in the perfect location for our craft!
Great Portland Estates: http://www.gpe.co.uk/property/our-portfolio/north-of-oxford-street/rathbone-square.aspx
Hidden London: http://hidden-london.com/gazetteer/fitzrovia/
Fitzrovia Trust: http://www.fitzroviatrust.org/joomla16/index.php/ct-menu-item-3
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.
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.
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.
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. As 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!
We recently came across this lovely website called Feeling Stitchy which we would like to share with you. This lovely website is a cornucopia of exciting craft projects, tips and tricks to inspire and encourage you to pick up the needle and give it a try. The share a huge amount of new stitching work making it a great site to catch up on the goings on of the embroidery world as well as sharing ideas of their own for you to try.
The team of eight stitching enthusiasts bring together a whole host of embroidery related information to share, Here is a little more about them in their own words: ‘Feeling Stitchy is a group embroidery blog written by a staff of volunteers – featuring a wide range of embroidery styles. We create original tutorials, do stitchalongs, review books, patterns, tools, and threads, as well as interview fascinating artists both established and new to the craft. Our focus is less on perfection and more on learning new skills and simple enjoyment of the craft. Please feel free to join us for a no-pressure stitchalong this summer!’
This craft blog share designs they have tested such as the Tawny Owl above by Helen M Stevens, stitched by the sites own Jo. Below are a couple of examples of the techniques they offer tips on how to do such as couching lettering with string and french knots.
So if you have been trying to get into embroidery, but didn’t know where to start, the Feeling Stitchy Ladies will make you feel right at home and you’ll be stitching before you know it!
It’s only every now and then that a programme comes on to television that really gets us excited, but we couldn’t help but be curious to see what the producers at the BBC would make of our little patch of London, Mayfair. On the 15th Feb, Modern Times: Welcome to Mayfair aired on BBC2 showing the social diversity that exists in Mayfair and the variety of businesses and lives it sustains. So it was with baited breath that we watched to see some of our friends and colleagues as they featured in the show as ‘the craftspeople who keep the wealthy in their finery’.
GJ Cleverley’s the Shoe maker made a significant appearance, demonstration that people are still making bespoke items in the heart of Mayfair, in the workshop above the shop, Burlington Arcade. They make all sort of bespoke shoes including these slippers which feature some of our Goldwork embroidery.
There was also an addition from Keith Levett of Henry Poole who does their Livery Tailoring
You might even catch a glimpse of our Director, Claire in the artisan’s meeting if you have a keen eye. For us, it is great to see the focus being given to the independent businesses and championing the craftsman’s trades. It is clear to see from talking to any crafts person that we are all passionate about keeping our craft alive and growing.
This season the studio has been busy with a particularly interesting client with an exciting brief. We had to keep the project confidential during production but are now very excited to be able to share some photographs of the outcome.
We were approached by Louise Goldin’s team on behalf of Kanye West, and asked to advise on the design and production of an embroidered ladies jacket. This would be part of Mr West’s first catwalk collection to be shown during Paris Fashion Week 2011. With a tight lead time of two weeks this project had to be undertaken in our UK studio, enabling our team to respond quickly to the necessary revisions to the design whilst maintaining the exacting standards required for such an intricate piece.
A project like this required a huge amount of preparation, for example each one of the 1028 PP32 Swarowski crystals were placed in their settings by hand by the team.
In collaboration with Mr West’s team we produced a fully embroidered, diamante and beaded jacket depicting a tiger’s jaw and head markings.
This was an exhilarating and challenging project to be involved with and we thoroughly enjoyed working with Mr West and his team.
All designs are Copyright Mr K West.