A Forest of Stitches
Dates:n/a (mon - fri)
Location: Elphin near Ullapool
Course Places : n/a
Price : n/a
And now, on the first real clear hot days of May, they share with the other woods the thousand-coloured pattern of the new leaf, distance turning whole trees to mere stitches of jade and copper and emerald and olive and white, a vast spring-crazy fabric without design.
H E Bates, from Through the Woods
Delve into the magical world of the woods and capture the spirit of the trees through this stitch-rich, intensive course.
The process will begin with some close-looking at the trees that live in the acre of wild garden surrounding my studio, followed by some research into the facts and myths associated with your favourite tree, garnered from the bank of reference materials provided back at base. You will then begin to explore ways of expressing the essential nature of your tree, through mark-making onto fabric, using dyes, monoprint, stencil and stitch. The emerging shapes will provide a starting point for composition. Other techniques covered will include introducing text to your work and the various treatments of edges, including burning!
Unlike the other stitching courses on the calendar, this course has an emphasis on the richness to be found in densely-stitched work and the aim is to produce either one highly-developed piece of work or two smaller panels, representing the character of your chosen tree in one or two of the seasons of the year.
All materials are provided and included in the price, along with refreshments and a cooked vegetarian lunch using, whenever possible, organic produce from my own garden. If you can bring your own sewing machine, that would be helpful. If not, let me know and I can provide one for your use.
Please click on an image to see the full picture.
Jan's studio is in Elphin, overlooking the magnificent mountains of Suilven, Canisp, Cul Mor and Cul Beag. This remote location means that accommodation is a little more difficult to find, but the experience of visiting this area makes the search well worthwhile. Many course participants opt to stay in Ullapool, which is 20 minutes drive away. It is a most picturesque fishing village, with a good range of accommodation to suit all budgets. There are many restaurants and takeaways and shops, as well as some evening entertainment, should you have any energy left at the end of that day's workshop. And students often group together and car share for their daily trip up the road, past Stac Pollaidh, to the studio. Please look at the Accommodation links page to find out more.
To read about an innovative community partnership approach to preserving and improving this landscape for the benefit of all, have a look at Coigach and Assynt Living Landscapes. To find out about the fascinating geology of this area go to North West Highland Geopark.