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.
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
For anyone interested by embroidery, Opus Anglicanum at the V&A museum is a must see exhibition. Despite its somewhat inaccessible name, the exhibition is a rare treat to see historical pieces, some of which are almost 1000 years old or on loan from usually closed archives.
The Toledo Cope, 1320-30, England.
The exhibition itself has a very considered, calm feel which seems to suit to nature of the materials on show. It is amazing that these pieces have survived this long, understandably some of the silks have lost the vibrancy of their colour and the metal work has tarnished, but the skill and detail are very evident. In most of the designs, the red colours have survived the best, but in the Toledo Cope the blues are especially pleasing.
The Toledo Cope, 1320-30, England.
The descriptions of the pieces are very detailed, each siteing the types of stitch and techniques used as well as the materials in each piece. There is no doubt of the detail of these pieces is astonishing, even if our modern interpretation of the subject matters can be a little amusing like these very long lions.
Lions on Horse Trapper 1330-40
There are some handy videos that will fill in the gaps in anyone’s knowledge who is not familar with the techniques on display.
Along side the embroidery, there are a few related treat pieces such as this beautiful swan pin which shares influences with the embroidery subjects.
The Dunstable Swan Jewel, c1400
Opus Anglicanum is open to the public at the Victoria and Albert museum now until the 5th Feb 2017.
This weekend, Hawthorne & Heaney’s sister company, The London Embroidery School hosted a special Christmas Goldwork Stars Workshop. The students were eager to learn more about goldwork techniques so the opportunity to combine new skills and festivities was too much to miss!
Here are a few photos from their progress through the day:
They start by preparing the fabric, transfering the design and padding some areas with felt.
Some of the students edge their stars with pearle purl, covering the padded areas with cutwork in a combination of rough and smooth purl and filling the flat area with bright check chips.
Others used a combination of purl and check for the padded area and crystals for the flat.
The lovely Pearl teaching (and posing)
Some of the tools used during the day including wax, tweezers, scissors, size 12 needles, purl, check, pricker and bright check chips on the bullion board
Deep concentration is necessary for work like this
A table full of stars (and slight creative chaos)
Some of the students feeling a little bit pleased with their progress
At Hawthorne & Heaney we are always delighted to see people taking an interest and learning about these specialist embroidery techniques. We feel that it is important to preserve the knowledge of how to create these effect so that the crafts do not get lost in generations to come so if you would like to learn more about some of these specialist embroidery skills, why not join the London Embroidery School ladies for a course and see what you can learn!