100 Hearts War Stories
The national Embroiderers’ Guild (in association with SSAFA – The Armed Forces Charity (Wiltshire)) asked members if they would like to take part in a project to mark the end of the First World War in 1918, by creating a special heart. It could be designed to commemorate the life of a family member, a significant moment in time, objects of war, an act of bravery etc. The EG asked that it be made as an object of beauty, honour, courage, remembrance, truth or passion. Many ideas for inspiration were suggested e.g. uniforms, war diaries, the work of war poets and artists, photographs, songs, embroidered postcards, animals used in the war.
Kits of the appropriate size and colour were sent out to participants together with other important information such as a template, stitch and stuffing notes, design ideas and hanging options.
A special invitation was sent to one of our members, asking her if she would create a campaign medal for the exhibition. It could be a copy of an actual First World War medal or be made up but the colours had to be chosen from specially created swatches sent by HQ. Any technique could be chosen as could hand or machine stitching.
Exhibitions at major venues throughout the UK are planned, with one hundred hearts being displayed in each. The EG also intend to create a Pinterest on-line exhibition and show some of the hearts on their website.
Thanks go to the small number of Worcester EG members who are taking part in this project. We look forward to seeing their final pieces!
“One Time, One Place” Exhibition
The Weavers’ Gallery in Ledbury provided the setting for WEG’s September exhibition, “One Time, One Place”. It was timed to link in with h.Art, a Herefordshire wide project which gives access to many artists’ studios and galleries.
A wide variety of 3D textiles were exhibited, ranging from bead necklaces to felt pods and embroidered butterflies, as well as 2D work which displayed many different techniques – from traditional embroidery to mixed media pieces. Many of the textiles were for sale, together with portfolio pieces, small embroidered items and hundreds of handmade cards!
One or two members kindly provided their Sketchbooks for members of the public to peruse. These give an idea of the kind of research and thought that may be involved in the process of creating a piece of work.
Members also created “Sew Inspirational” packs which could be bought for a small amount. It is hoped that they won’t sit in drawers but will be used to create something interesting!
Over 1,500 people visited the exhibition, coming from as far afield as Cumbria, Sweden and Columbia! Many wrote extremely favourable comments in our Visitors’ Book …
- “A superb exhibition – not only inspiring but varied – what a talented group!”
- “Skill, imagination and beauty. Thank you.”
- “Amazing imagination and craftsmanship”
- “Great variety and skill – I’m jealous!”
Lancelot “Capability” Brown Project
To mark the 300th Anniversary of the birth of Lancelot “Capability” Brown, a joint project was developed between the National Trust, English Heritage and various organisations including the Embroiderers’ Guild.
Members of Worcester EG put on an exhibition from April to July in the Temple Greenhouse at Croome Park, Worcestershire. Their work reflected the various aspects of the estate including a large mansion, river, lake, open parkland, borders of flowers, sculptures and buildings, all set in a sweeping landscape.
The Earl of Coventry was ever grateful to Brown for his transformation of Croome Park and this was acknowledged by his memorial to him:
Who, by powers of his inimitable genius,
Formed this garden scene out of a morass
The exhibition was appreciated by many; the following are some of the comments written in the Visitors’ Book:
- “An exhibition that captures Croome Park and Brown – executed with skill and creativity.”
- “Thank you for taking the time to produce such beautiful pieces of work.”
- “An exquisite collection of work- beautifully mounted and displayed. So appropriate for the Temple Greenhouse space to be used in such a creative and enjoyable way. Well done to all.”
- “Beautiful, all individual designs and styles.”
- “Beautiful pieces of art work in a glorious setting. It has inspired me to get stitching again.”
Exhibition at the Three Choirs Festival
WEG holds an exhibition of members’ work during the week that the Three Choirs Festival takes place at Worcester i.e. once every three years. The most recent exhibition took place in July 2014. The theme “Surface, Space and Time, featuring the Decade 1910 – 1920”, provided the 39 members who participated wide scope for what they produced.
One Venture Group produced a “Wall of Poppies”, where members and visitors could add small labels with memories of those who took part, particularly in WW1. Some of these were very moving:
- Samuel …, my grandfather, who died in 1917, leaving 4 sons under 7.
- In memory of Michael …, my grandfather’s brother, killed on the first day of the war.
- Mr … who was at Ypres and never spoke of it.
- My grandfather was one of 7 men who came back from the Manchester Regiment; 1000 men went out. Deo Gratias.
Another Venture Group produced a piece of work based on the poem, “As the Team’s Head-Brass” by Edward Thomas, written in May 1916 at a time when he was deciding whether to give up his post as map-reading instructor in order to apply for a commission, which would involve him in going to the Front. He was killed in April 1917 at the beginning of the battle of Arras. The chosen text was intriguing but everyone rose to the challenge.
Both of these items have been loaned to various churches and commemorative events following the exhibition.
Work relating to the 1910 – 1920 decade included a piece inspired by broken tile mosaics designed by Gaudi at Guell Park, Barcelona, and another by C.F. Voysey, based on a 1919 design and which involved monoprinting, silk painting and applique.
Other WEG Annual Exhibitions
In years when the Guild does not show work at the Three Choirs Festival, other exhibitions may be held e.g. at the Weavers’ Gallery in Ledbury.