Alison Wake June 2021: Stitched Landscapes

As has become our custom on zoom, we had a “warm up” act while everyone logged into the meeting. Chair Val surpassed herself today by using power point to display work from various residential workshops from 1989 to 2018.  We spent a lovely time reminiscing about past tutors and venues.  Our first ever residential was organised by Doreen Spencer at Grantley Hall and the tutor was Jenny Barson, a very talented machine embroiderer.  There were  more visits to Grantley for box making with Bridget Rylands, and silk painting with Mary Day.  Marjorie  Siboldi managed to run off several poppy pictures, which she framed and sold to people on a different course, whilst the rest of us were still deciding which colours to use.  Other tutors at Grantley were Jean Littlejohn,  and Jennie Rayment.  When the hall was taken over we tried a non residential weekend at Newland High School with Pam Watts.  We had a skilled tutor and great food but the camaraderie was missing.

Next came several visits to Horncastle College.  The venue had a really good workroom with plenty of natural light, and the food was outstanding.  However the bedrooms were in need of refurbishment and didn’t pass government requirements.  Linda Westerman, Tracy Frankland and Anja Townrow were our tutors.  All experts in their own field.

Sneaton Castle near Whitby had wonderful views and gardens, and a huge collection of Mouseman furniture.  The bedrooms were purpose built for schoolgirls and a bit cramped.  Paddy Killer and Linda Westerman were our  tutors.

Wentworth Castle Northern College became our next venue.  Lovely rooms, but the voucher system for food left us bewildered.  Beadwork ,Friendly Plastic, and Poker Work with Organza were our very varied subjects.  The weather caused many problems on the Kathleen Laurel Sage weekend and we arrived late, some of us dripping wet from leaving the car to seek directions (who  knew there were two Wentworth  mansions).  After a busy weekend Andrew Gibb helped many of us with seized brakes to rock our cars free. Caroline Cockcroft  had to confess to her husband that his brand new car had a wrecked engine.

Then on to Cober Hill, our current venue.  It ticks all of our boxes and our tutors Linda Westerman, Karen Lane , Gail Lawther,  and Josie Storey have all been inspirational. Here’s hoping that 2021 will prove equally as good next month.

Our main speaker this month was Alison Wake

Alison is a member of the Peak District Artisans.  She is inspired by the natural and industrial landscapes of Derbyshire.  We were taken through a collection of photographs in varying seasons. The colours were fantastic, as were the miniature scenes she created from them.  Her work is hand stitched in wool, dyed locally.  She usually buys variegated skeins in 4ply (sock yarn) so that a continuous line of long and short stitch can be created without change of thread.  The waterfalls have a sparkle of silver and look very realistic.  Alison was very generous with her tips about construction and framing.  If you did not join the zoom meeting do have a look at her website, Cognissart.  I had no idea that Derbyshire was such a beautiful county as I have only ever seen it in rain and fog.  Some of her work is currently in the shop at The Rope Walk in Barton on Humber.  Opening Days  Wednesday – Sunday

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