Wednesday 19 December 2007

To All Distant Stitchers

The very best Seasons Greetings to all Distant Stitch students.
I hope you enjoy my own 'mother and child' photos below.
Wishing you all a successful and productive New Year - I look forward to seeing the next stage of your coursework in the New Year.

Friday 14 December 2007

Season's Greeting - Mother and Child

Sian and Iris Martin, mother and child.
Wishing everyone, especially all my Distant Stitch students, the season's greetings.

I am currently preparing work for a group exhibition by the Practical Study Group ( called "Creative Dialogues". My 'dialogue' is with my mother who died a few years ago but who gave me my love of embroidery and all things to do with textiles and design. This exhibition will open at the Bankfield Gallery, Halifax, Yorkshire on March 8th 2008 (more details later).
Continuing the theme of 'mother and child' I've posted two examples of her many embroidered commissions for churches; a mother and child banner for St. Peter's Church, Llanelli South Wales. Also I thought you might like to see this embroidered frontal at Bangor cathedral (North Wales) which was designed and made by my mother. It's up-lifting and out-spreading shapes in the design incorporates the passions and hopes of the people of Wales.

Wednesday 31 October 2007

Summer School information

Next years's Distant Stitch Summer School will be held at Urchfont Manor, Wiltshire from July 6th - 9th 2008. Cas Holmes will be our guest tutor and has devised a fascinating workshop using hand stitch into papers and found materials called 'Beyond the Surface'. I'm sure many of you will be familiar with her work from your artists studies. See images below of some of Cas's work in her exhibtion - 'Traces' and on the website .

'Traces' continues with the addition of new works at the following venues: Transitions, Bilston Craft Gallery, Wolverhampton tel 01902 552507 (contact Emma Daker) from 5th April - 14th June 2008 (a touring exhibition with Jo Newman, Deborah Roberts, Loretta Braganza and Mizuko Yamada. Riverhouse Barn Gallery, Manor Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, tel 01932 254198 from 15 April to 10 May 2009.

Summer School booking opens on 1st November for current Distant Stitch students. Please contact Mandy Dixon at Urchfont to book your place.

Saturday 27 October 2007

Janice Myers invites you to her shared exhibition 'Transformed' with Andrew Vaccari. Janice studied City and Guilds embroidery at Urchfont with Sian. Her work has been included in many prestigious textile competitions and exhibitions and she is an energetic and inventive member of the South West Textiles Group. She develops her designs using the Pfaff computerised embroidery machine to stitch her figurative images on plastic materials.
You are invited to the preview on Saturday 1st December, between 3 and 8.

Friday 26 October 2007

Two and a half births!

Two and a half births to announce!
Amelie Jane emerged at the end of September. You've seen the scan, now see the baby. Watch this space for my next piece of work.

Second birth: Maggie Grey announces the birth of a new online sister magazine to Workshop on the Web called Quilt Workshop on the Web, edited by Carol Dowsett (a past City and Guilds assessor at Urchfont). Visit for a free peep at the first issue.
Keep a look out for Maggie Grey's book on digital printing onto fabric, out soon, featuring two pieces by Sian. Title and date of publication to be announced.

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Good news. I'm now back on line. Apologies to everyone who has failed to make contact with me during the last few weeks. My Internet connection was down and even the BT engineer had to go away and consult his own helpline. So its good to be back adding to my blog. I'm off to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally pally this week so look forward to seeing you there. I'll be at the 62 Group exhibition stand if you;d like to come and say hello.


Tuesday 11 September 2007

Art in the Garden

Celebrating 60 years of adult education, Urchfont Manor recently organised an 'Art in the Garden' event. My STA (Stitched Textile Artists) masterclass created some wonderful additions to the 'official' art exhibits around the grounds after looking at a video of the work by environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy. Even our lunch buffet seemed to be part of the fun.

Friday 17 August 2007

The Holiday Loop

My first entry this month. It's surprising how busy you can be when you're on holiday! I won't mention the weather, but its been a good month to be creative indoors. I've been making progress on a series of textile pieces inspired by news of an awaited addition to our family in the form of a scanned foetal image. I've printed this image onto fabric using ready prepared linen and voile from 'Crafty Computer Papers ( ) I've then incorporated these fabric images within the surface of my work, using water-soluble computerised machine stitching and a layer of broken egg shells. A large triptych is called 'With Child' and a series of smaller pieces 'Maternity'.
A different project has involved me adding a couple of pages to a handmade book by Mary Youles. I've placed some of my ideas for the 'foetal scan series' on these pages below for you to see the various associated ideas and 'thinking' that takes place at the beginning of any creative project.
Each member of the Practical Study Group (www.practicalstudygroup) is making a contribution to Mary's book by adding interesting things to a double page. When complete it will be an amazingly interesting and beautiful textile item as part of 'Collaboration' the touring exhibition by the Practical Study Group, starting at the Bankfield Museum and Art Gallery, Halifax in March 2008. Look out for further details here later.

Monday 30 July 2007

Flight Preview

'A Swarm of Gnats' by Janice Myers and Helen Thompson
Six 'birds of paradise' - flowers and organising team -
Val Davies, Janice Myers and Hazel Ryan of South West Textiles Group

Flamingos and lilies at Slimbridge

Tuesday 17 July 2007

"BREAK AN EGG TO SAVE A SAILOR" success - so far!
A detail of the surface showing the layer of eggshells under the machine stitching. Many thanks to Urchfont Manor for supplying all the egg shells and to Lynda (Urchfont 'Stitch Textile Artists' group) for sharing interesting folklore stories which inspired the idea.

"Break An Egg To Save A Sailor" has been accepted into the Pfaff Art Textiles "Still Life" exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London. Prize winners to be announced at the end of the first day, October 11th. Come along to see the exhibition if you're able.

Monday 16 July 2007

Gilding the loop

The recent wet and windy weather has felled my 3 metre high cardoon plant. This means I can now enjoy the flowers which were too high up to see! A brief glimpse of the sun made some interesting shadows.

Wedding Congratulations to Rosie - receptionist and bar lady at Urchfont. Students tried their skills with transfoils and alcohol inks to make this card to leave for her on her return from honeymoon in Egypt. Some of the Diploma class discovered the source of of the Urchfont 'font' during their recent weekend to 'waddle-off' their famous Urchfont meals.