I was asked yesterday after I gave a talk at Kingston University, if I had a website listing of the different talks I do, the answer was no, so this will hopefully rectify the omission .
I am happy to give talks to groups in an informal setting, ranging from school rooms to church halls, from 20 to 50 adults.
Each event takes the form of an talk with lots of examples and samples, and I encourage the audience to ask questions and examine the items throughout the 45 mins – 60 mins. Each talk can be tailored to different groups, perhaps by focusing on a particular interest.
I only need a well light space and a couple of tables, I don’t normally have any need of computers or electrical equipment.
I have currently 5 talks available
1 From fleece to pleats
An introduction to the word of wool, spinning, weaving,dyeing, tartan, and kilt making.
I discuss the history of wool, demonstrate spinning, talk about the development of weaving and the history of tartan, finishing with a “show and tell” of how a kilt is made.
This talk is an excellent overview of wool and tartan, covering a lot of ground very quickly, but it has proved to be one of my most popular bookings
2 Natural Dyeing
An introduction to the world of natural dyeing, from early mud dyeing of 5000 BC right through to the discovery of the first synthetic dye in 1856.
With lots of samples of dyed wools, grouped by the history and development of colourants , and samples of many of the various dyestuffs and chemicals used,I discuss the history and manufacture of coloured textiles.
An introduction to the history of books, from the beginnings on papyrus, through mediaeval bindings to mass produced paperbacks, I show examples of all the major styles. Discussion and handling of samples is important to the talk and everyone has the chance to handle wood, leather, paper and linen thread.
I also show a range of contemporary art bindings using glass,knitted cloth, ceramics, carved wood, and silk as cover materials.
I also offer a selection of bookbinding workshops, from simple pamphlets to multi section collections. These workshops can be tailored for all ages, young and old! Contact me to discuss further details. see below for a video produced for an earlier class, but it gives an idea of how a class can work.
A quick tour through the basics of pottery tracing the development of ceramics from hand pinched pots to industrial mass-produced dinner services.
Using historic and contemporary examples there is ample opportunity for discussion of different styles and types from around the world, with an emphasis on decorative techniques.
5.Flax and Linen
A brief history of flax and how it gets converted into linen yarn and cloth. Using samples of the plant, fibre, and finished products, a few personal stories of teaching school children how to spin it, and some family memories of work in the mills . I also explain why flax and linen deserve much more attention today in environmentally sensitive ways over other fibres.
6 All about fibres
A talk on many of the main sources of fibre – wool, flax, silk, and cotton, along with some more unusual but otherwise well used fibres from around the world. Lots of samples and demonstrations of preparation and spinning. Many stories of the history and background of the fibres and yarns and what they are used for – including some folk tales as well.