The Creative Craft Show Sandown Park – 7th September 2013 (Research point 1)

I had a lovely day out with my daughter today at the Creative crafts show held at Sandown Park, Esher. Although I found the exhibits a little disappointing this year (it may just be that I have seen most of it before), there were a couple of esteemed exceptions. Namely Margaret Beal and Richard Box.

I have met Margaret on a number of occasions over the years due to her close connections with and frequent visits to the East Berkshire College, Windsor where I studied for my City & Guilds qualifications. Her techniques never cease to amaze my and my daughter was equally impressed by her method. She just makes it all look so easy, I know from my own previously failed attempts that it isn’t at all!

Richard Box has always been a bit of an inspiration to me, it was a short project of his in a crafts magazine that started me on this journey when I was younger. Ricahrd was running short classes for only £5 which of course is an absolute bargain. I hadn’t pre-booked as visiting the show was a spur of the moment decision that morning but he still had some spaces so I hurried of to the booking area and signed up. The main reason for this I must admit, was to find out how he attaches all those tiny bits of fabric before sewing them as I could never see any remnants of bondaweb or anything on his work. I now know but will not disclose it here! I also gleaned a couple of other very useful hints which were:

To prop my machine up at the back with a couple of rubber doorstops – I had never thought of this but it helps to stop the strain across the top of my shoulders when doing a lot of stitching. I suffer dreadfully from this and usually have to take a break every 20mins or so to straighten up and walk around the room.

and

To spray my natesh threads with water to help them not to break so often. I love the colours of these threads but have always had a devil of a job stitching with them!

I managed to complete the first part of the sample during the class so it is ready for stitching, I must make sure that I do finish it as I think it will be lovely when stitched. I particularly like the movement in the background.

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About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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