Our programme of lectures has been selected to offer a series of historic needlework topics from experts in their field. Most lectures will take place each evening between 5-6pm in the centre of Appleby. Tickets are £20 and include tea/coffee, which will be served before the lecture begins.
Jacqui takes a detailed look at the design and production of English embroidery during the 16th and 17th Century. In the Elizabethan world nature and the human hand shaped everything. Evidence of this pre-industrial age is visible in all artefacts from this period, including embroidery. From the choice of design, to the selection of materials, and the way they are handled, the embroidery speaks to us about a way of life. By looking at surviving artefacts we can see how they practiced and appreciated of their art.
Writing in the journal of the Royal Society of Arts in 1895, the celebrated designer May Morris argued that needlework decoration had reached ‘its best and most intellectual development’ during the medieval period. The revival of interest in Opus Anglicanum or English work for ecclesiastical and secular use, famed throughout Europe from the late 12th to the 14th Centuries, formed a cornerstone in the development of art embroidery, particularly among textile historians and practitioners associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement. This lecture will explore the technical mastery and artistic expression found in the work of Medieval English craftsmen and women, including such masterpieces as the Butler-Bowden chasuble and the Jesse and Syon copes in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
(incl. demonstration and tasting)
Ivan distracts us from needlework for a moment to explore British cuisine of the 16th and 17th Centuries, from the time of Lady Anne Clifford. His lecture will include a demonstration of historic cooking techniques and recipes and will involve a chance to taste his creations.
For modern audiences, the intricacy and variety of the stitching found in early English needlework continue to astound and delight the eye, and have prompted a number of textile historians to conclude that the Elizabethan and Stuart periods ‘can claim most of what is good in English domestic embroidery’. Equally surprising is the fact that several objects preserved in museum and private collections were stitched by children and adolescents. This lecture aims to explore the prevailing attitude towards female education in the 150 years following the Reformation and its impact on the development of English domestic needlework; to give a voice to some of the ‘invisible hands’ who created these ‘curious works’ and to examine the environment in which girls from middle and upper class backgrounds learned to ply their needle, the training they received and the images they chose to stitch.
The term ‘art embroidery’, which first appeared in print in the early 1870s, denoted more than the mechanical execution of the stitches, irrespective of the manual dexterity of the needleworker. For a work to be “artistic”, it also required invention in the selection and arrangement of colours, the choice of suitable materials and, above all, good design based on an appreciation of the intellectual quality of medieval ornament. This lecture explores the movements that led to the revival of decorative needlework for the domestic interior during the second half of the 19th Century and the means by which its exponents sought to elevate the embroiderer’s craft from a trifling pastime to a serious art form.
Portraits of this period show royal and noble men and women wearing clothes of such richness and complexity that viewers are dazzled – as they were intended to be at the time. This illustrated lecture will help you to identify the individual garments which make up the look and will discuss where the materials came from, who made them, and how they related to the plainer dress of the time.
The story of embroidery and needlework is discussed within the fascinating context of the history of fabrics, of decorative costume, of interior decoration, of church and state ceremonial, of girls’ education, and of furniture and past times. Lanto sets in political and social context the whole panoply of textiles, distinguishing between the magnificent products of professional workshops and the uniquely individual and especially charming amateur embroideries that survive today amongst the most beautiful treasures of the decorative arts. Lanto examines with infectious enthusiasm the field of decorative embroideries and his lecture will appeal to all who admire beautiful things, fine workmanship, good design and lovely fabrics. This lecture will be illustrated with fine English embroideries from his own personal collection.
Michele talks about the path that led her to work in the film and television industry as a Costume Embroiderer. She explains how she developed her style and techniques, as well as giving an insight into how she does her job. She will show examples of her embroidery and explain the process of how she created some of the designs for television series including Game of Thrones and Elizabeth I starring Dame Helen Mirren.