I began sewing in my teens,
preferring my choice of fabric for clothes to that available in the
Patchwork, quilting, crochet and
knitting sustained my creativity during my years of employment and
bringing up a family but on retirement I have found new and exciting
techniques. These give me the possibility of producing my own
resources and allowing greater expression in fabric and mixed media.
I take inspiration from the
ever-changing Cotswold landscape of my home. My pieces flow from
collecting resources with colour and texture suggested by the overall
idea of the intended outcome, embroidery and embellishment completing
the design. I work mainly with hand embroidery but employ machine
stitching and embellishing on occasion.
I am a member of Cotswold Embroidery
I currently have work on display at
Beckford Silk Mill and have exhibited in a number of exhibitions in
I’ve enjoyed sewing since I was a small child learning from my Mum. I’ve explored many other crafts over the years, feeling the urge to constantly create but was always drawn back to stitch, first with dress making then bag-making. Having become very frustrated with commercial fabrics and wanting to make my work truly my own, I started developing my knowledge of various techniques and became obsessed with combining textile and mixed media art.
In 2016, I enrolled on Kim Thittichai’s Experimental Textiles course and spent the following few months trying out many different techniques and experimenting as much as I could. When the course came to an end, I didn’t want to stop learning and so enrolled firstly on to the Advanced Textiles course and then the Masterclass in Textiles course at The Windsor School of Textile Art. I’ve realised I will never stop learning and developing my style and I’m determined to enjoy every minute of it!
I find experimenting with fabric, stitch and mixed media fascinating and have used fruit net and cassette tape within some of my work. More recently, I have been exploring the use of metal and have taught myself to solder in order to look at ways I can use wire to create 3D structures.
I have always been interested in needle work and crafts. The first embroidery I can remember completing was a tablecloth in satin stitch and lazy daisy for a teacher who was getting married. I have attended various day and weekend courses and have taught textiles at children’s summer schools.
I attained my City and Guilds Creative Embroidery Parts 1 and 2 and after completing this a group of students formed Materialise, where we continue to develop and exhibit our work. I also belong to a small group of Quaker artists working in various media. I joined Bath Textile Artists in February 2018.
The appeal of modern embroidery or textile decoration for me is the wide ranging and eclectic nature of it. The joy of using fabric and threads is in the vibrancy and subtlety of colour and the variety of textures that can be obtained. I like to make my own base for embroidery using papers, paints and inks as well as working into a variety of fabrics. I also like to use recycled materials wherever possible and enjoy seeing something old take on a new life.
I often use the machine initially to texture the piece and then work and rework into it using hand stitch. The feel of the thread and fabric in my hands is integral to my enjoyment of the embroidery process.
My main source of inspiration comes from walking in the local country side and enjoying my surroundings. I do take photos and make sketches. I use both hand and machine stitching in my work. I also use an embellisher to blend various fabrics together. I often use cold water soluble fabric to make light lacey pieces. Mostly I work in an intuitive way and experiment with fabrics, colours and mixed media.
In 1984 a group of friends wanted a focal point for ideas to be exchanged and to arrange exhibitions. So ‘The Embroiderers of Bath’ was born to accomplish these aims, starting with 14 members. In 1985 they held their first exhibition. ‘A Flourish of Threads’, was held in The Bridge Bookshop (sadly no longer with us), Bridge Street, Bath.
The following year an exhibition entitled ‘Circle with the Seasons’ was hung in The Global Village Crafts, Green Street, Bath. Over the next two years the annual exhibition was held at The Global Village Crafts. The 5th exhibition, in November 1989, was moved to the Campden Works Museum (now The Museum of Bath at Work), Julian Street, Bath. They changed their name to ‘Textile Artists and Embroiderers of Bath’ to be more inclusive of textile skills. The group described themselves as ‘enthusiastic workers, some with City & Guilds and some with a lifelong interest in the embroidery’.
It was decided at this time to more publicly state the objectives of the group. They wrote that they aimed to hold an annual exhibition in settings less formal than the atmosphere of an art gallery e.g. shops and museums. Also that the whole range of fabric arts – painting on fabric, weaving, dying, “pure” embroidery, machine embroidery, fabric paper making and any combination of the above was to be included.
In 1991 the terms of membership were clarified. Monthly meetings were to be held in members’ houses and a minimum number of meetings had to be attended to maintain membership. All members had to be prepared to help set up exhibitions. Work must be new, thus hoping to bring freshness and vitality to the pieces submitted for selection.
The 7th exhibition was held in 1992 in Bath Central Library exhibition room. The group was still called ‘Textile Artists and Embroiderers of Bath’ at this stage.
It was in 1996 that the name of the group was shortened to the more compact ‘Bath Textile Artists’ and that is still used today. Group numbers have fluctuated between eight and fourteen. The idea was to keep the group efficient and friendly. Meetings are now roughly at six weekly intervals, with flexibility due to the work commitments of the members.
Exhibition venues have since included Westonbirt Arboretum, Norton St Philip, Bradley Stoke Gallery in Bedminster, The Space in Stroud, Bristol Guild, Fisherton Mill in Salisbury, The Guild of Cotswold Artists Gallery in Nailsworth, The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham and The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. The last two are the regular venues for Bath Textile Artists exhibitions.
I live in Bath and construct my work from home. My surroundings are important to me and I am incredibly fortunate to be encircled by woods, fields and beautiful views.
Since childhood I have always loved playing with paints and textiles and I seek to explore new techniques, not to be daunted by the blank canvas or have creativity crippled by insisting on perfection, but to continue to play. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Pablo Picasso.
Currently I am experimenting with wax, water and heat on paper and material to create variations in the colours and textures. I am also learning how to incorporate machine embroidery.
I am inspired by shifting light, colour, shapes and patterns; light filtering through leaves. The surface and detail of rock pools, stones, lichen. Antique textiles; functional but treasured possessions crafted by skilled artisans, also influence my work because of their colours, patterns, symbols and decorative simplicity.
Many of my images include circles. For me they represent eternity and God’s act of Creation. Circles are natural, we see them everywhere, the sun, moon, stars, planet earth. Somehow the shape of a circle draws the viewer into whatever symbolic message the centre may hold.
I use a variety of techniques and materials to create images but I am particularly fascinated by wax, used both on material and paper. On material the wax saturates the surface and an incandescent effect materialises, reminiscent of a stained glass window. On paper it creates lustre.
My faith is an essential part of my life, and infuses my art. C S Lewis expresses it far better than I ever could; “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
Currently my aim is to create meaningful art that causes people to pause from their everyday busy lives and contemplate more than materialism; to appreciate the beauty of nature. My desire is to create beautiful art in a place that allows respite from inner turmoil or grief in order to transcend and transport people somewhere calm and sacred, if only for a moment.
My work has been used in a variety of venues, including a prison, church, a local village passion play and healing centre.
A member of Bath Textile Artists for around 25 years, I joined when my specialism was embroidered and decorated original clothing. I produced one off garments to commission, and still do so occasionally.
Now, the items I produce tend to be wall-hung artwork, using a range of textile techniques, including hand and machine stitch, paint and print.
Themes are wide ranging and ideas spring from personal research, travel and the local environment. I have lead a number of community projects and worked in many schools as artist –in – residence. Currently I also teach drawing in adult education classes.
I came to art and embroidery late in life, after training as a scientist. The ‘discovery’ of the texture and colour in fabric and thread came as a revelation and left me looking at the world through very different eyes from which I had observed it before. I now see beauty in unusual places. Even the water stains on the concrete of an underground car park send me burrowing into my bag for a camera or a sketchbook; while passers by look on bemused.
To express unlikely patterns and colours in the wonderful array of threads and fabrics available gives me great joy, which I hope passes on to the observers of my work.
I take my inspiration from the natural world. My work concentrates on hand weaving interpreting landscape or specific natural details into an abstract form.
I use mixed media techniques to provide the interest and detail in the work, and include both hand and machine embroidery to enhance the detail.
On a recent holiday in France I drew inspiration from the unique architecture and the rustic charm of the countryside. The houses with faded shutters from a powerful sun and flowers growing in informal gardens shaped my most recent work.
After studying painting and textile design at Ulster College of Art and Design Yvonne worked successfully for Courtaulds and in studios in London as a textile designer, before freelancing. Her original designs sold at home, on the continent and in America.
On moving to Wiltshire in the 1980’s she started to paint full time, with her holidays at home and abroad, her garden and walks in the countryside constantly providing sources of inspiration.
Yvonne was invited to join Bath Textile Artists in 2007 mainly because of her hand painted silk works. She continues to work in that field and has also developed a strong interest in mixed media and collage work, often with stitching and fabrics incorporated
Her paintings are carried out in a variety of media and follow different themes according to her current interests. Sketches and preliminary drawings are essential to her approach and colour, light, form and texture are strong underlying principles. Her works include a rich mix of realistic and semi-abstract paintings in mixed media, acrylic and on silk.
Her work has been shown widely across Wiltshire and at the Mall Galleries and the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery in London; the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol; Victoria Gallery and Rooksmoor Gallery, Bath; and the Handel House Gallery in Devizes.
Her work is now to be found in collections as far apart as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Hong Kong and America.
Yvonne is also a member of the Calne Artists Group.