Category Archives: Sewing and Stitching

A Residential Workshop at Chateau Dumas with Sue Stone

Sue Stone – Personal Narratives and Creative Characters

4 – 11 August 2018

In August I am delighted to be teaching a workshop at Chateau Dumas in SW France in conjunction with SelvedgeBooking is open now 

In this residential workshop I will introduce you to the many ways of working figuratively. We will look at a series of different artists and the various methods they use to depict the human figure from the substantial and serious to the light-hearted and whimsical.

During the week we will create some characters, and make some small studies using figurative and narrative elements and look at ways to incorporate your own narratives and memories using images and text.

I will guide you through quick & easy ways to get started and share the simple processes I use myself. There will be a focus on hand stitch, layering and appliqué with an option to add machine stitch if you wish.

I will advise you on how to use your own drawings, photographs or vintage illustrations to convey ideas, thoughts and memories. You’ll  quickly gain the confidence to stamp your own personality on your work.

We will take a break from the course mid-week to enjoy a day of dyeing with the original blue dye from the woad plant, grown in the Toulouse area since medieval times. You can bring things to dye from home, pick items up at local markets or buy natural fabric from Chateau Dumas.
During the week there is also a visit to the nearby atmospheric Sunday morning food and craft market in St Antonin-Noble-Val, the medieval town where the films Charlotte Gray and The Hundred Foot Journey were filmed.

The workshop is suitable for all abilities. For those who are worried about their drawing ability I will provide some simple black & white guides and some vintage illustrations as a base from which to work and a collection of my own handling samples to inspire you. By the end of the workshop you will have new ideas with which to work and the necessary skills to develop your own work further.

About the Chateau
Chateau Dumas

Every year, Selvedge hosts several all-inclusive residential craft workshops at Chateau Dumas, a private estate with 18th century interiors, a large pool and glorious panoramic views – set amongst rolling hills in peaceful, scenic countryside less than an hour north of Toulouse international airport. Owned and run by Lizzie Hulme the Chateau is a place you can relax, unwind and be truly creative in.


Bushwick, Brooklyn - photo by Yeshen Venema

From Grimsby to Greenpoint and Beyond

‘From Grimsby to Greenpoint and Beyond’ has been selected for the 62 Group exhibition ‘Ctrl/Shift’ which will open at MAC, Birmingham on 21 July and runs until 9 September. The piece is made up of 9 sections measures 175  x 123 cms when assembled.
Materials :Linen/recycled clothing fabrics,cotton threads, InkTense pencils,acrylic paint
Techniques: Hand and machine stitch.appliqué, piecing, drawing, painting

Details of ‘From Grimsby to Greenpoint & Beyond’ photos by Yeshen Venema

Sue Stone 15Sue Stone 21Sue Stone 2Sue Stone 5Sue Stone 14Sue Stone 16Sue Stone 25
A visit to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York sparked the idea for this work in which the emphasis shifts slightly away from people, and towards place, a specific place, New York and a snapshot of a specific time period 21/12/16 to 3/01/17. Another small shift is in the use of materials, black thread was used abundantly in this piece this is a new departure as was the use of Derwent InkTense pencils to draw and colour the background fabric.
A new approach, an attempt to capture a new energy in the work and a move away from control in the design process meant the work evolved and has had several incarnations during the making process rather than being pre-planned.
There are a multitude of references in this work; to the atmosphere and fast pace of New York City to the areas and places visited and to great beer, coffee and food consumed. Also referenced are a selection of the many street artists in Greenpoint and Bushwick including Faille, a Brooklyn-based artistic collaboration between Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller and there’s tribute paid to particular artworks, ‘Jawbone of an Ass’ by Jean-Michel Basquiat and ‘The Mermaid’ a sculpture by Liz Craft at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan.

Sue Stone 2 Day Self Portrait workshop at Cork Textiles Network. See the finished portraits at the Knitting & Stitching shows 2018

Self-Portrait Workshop in Cork

Last week I gave a talk and taught a 2 Day self-portrait workshop in Cork for Cork Textiles network. They are a talented and diverse group spanning many different textile disciplines. Here you can see a selection of the work produced at the workshop. The finished portraits will be shown at the Knitting & Stitching shows next year (2018) on the Cork Textiles Network stand and I’m itching to see the final results. All portraits will be A3 in size.

Work Archive 2017

This is Me 2017

first shown at Festival of Quilts 2017 in the Through Our Hands gallery ‘A Portrait’

Individuality, distinctiveness, uniqueness form our identity; who or what we are. This series of self-portraits was inspired by the humankind’s urge to categorise. Whatever you think you see in these images it is still me.
Visual decoration or types of clothing may suggest class, culture, creed, religion or ethnicity. The outer shell and its various wrappings; skin, clothing, accessories, may change and alter appearance as they do. The viewer is asked to form their own opinion of who I really am. The person portrayed whose the inner soul remains the same throughout is me.


Faith, Hope & Fate commissioned artist for ‘Unknown People’

Go to Retrospective • an Archive of work 2016

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2015

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2013/14

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2011/12

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2009/10

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2007/8

Retrospective • An Archive of work from 2003 to 2006


Sue Stone

Making Space • The 62 Group of Textile Artists

I am delighted to be showing my work in ‘Making Space’ an exhibition by the 62 Group of Textile Artists. The exhibition at Macclesfield Silk Museum runs until 3 September 2016.

63 - 16

63 – A Self-Portrait – Work in Progress

63 is a self-portrait which, when complete, will be made up of 63 images, one for each year of my life so far. So why put myself through all this work, and, to be perfectly honest, the angst of self examination, a replaying of all the ups and downs of life?
Well, there were several reasons, but the main one was that I was asked by Alf Ludlam, the curator of Shifting Images an exhibition of self-portraits at the Muriel Barker Gallery at Grimsby’s Fishing Heritage Centre, to produce something other than a straight forward self-portrait and this was the idea I came up with. I also thought it would benefit me personally because I would be working to a deadline which, in itself, would force me to look at the way I work and help me find a simplification of my mark-making.

63 - 2

63 work in progress 2

63 - 4

63 work in progress – 4

Although I work in mixed media I consider myself primarily an embroiderer, more specifically a hand embroiderer and because I find hand stitching a therapeutic process, I have a tendency to overstitch. I’m hoping that, in this piece, the viewer will find that my stitching have been given more breathing space and as a result more status. My stitch vocabulary is considered and limited. I don’t use many different types of stitches and but I try to get the most out of those stitches by using them in an original way. I was once given some advice by Constance Howard, when I was studying at Goldsmith’s College in London who said that “you don’t need to know a vast array of stitches but you need to know how use the ones you do know well” so that’s what I try to do.

63 - 7

63 work in progress -7

63 - 12

63 a work in progress – 12

I don’t really look at the work of other embroiderers in an inquisitorial way. This is deliberate, an attempt to keep my own work fresh. One of the ways I do this is by mixing different colours and different weights of threads in the needle leaving the eye to mix the colour. You can read about my favourite stitches  here.
I have deliberately tried to be sparing with my stitching of the faces in this piece to produce a more illustrative style. Mood, quality, expression, character can all be changed by the position of each stitch and a lot of drawing and re-drawing, stitching, unpicking and restitching has been done before moving on.

63 -25

63 a work in progress -25

63 -27

63 a work in progress – 27

I am a ‘glass half full’ sort of person but the process of making this piece has, so far, and I am only just over half way there, been an convergence of mixed emotion. The process has, at times, evoked difficult and even desperately unhappy emotions, the reliving of all that teenage angst, hurt, heartbreak, and loss, the business problems and burglaries, but alongside that the uplifting and happy memories of friends and family and an optimism for the future.

Overall it is proving to be a quite cathartic process.

63 - 32

63 a work in progress – 32

63 will be shown as a ‘work in progress’ in Shifting Images from 8 September 2015 to 6 March 2016. – contemporary self portraiture
Working in partnership with Abbey Walk Gallery the Muriel Barker Gallery at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre will host an Exhibition of of self – portraiture by Lincolnshire Artists past and present.

Ebb & Flow • Behind the Scenes

image of Portrait of a Grimsby Girl

Portrait of a Grimsby Girl

The opening of the 62 Group Ebb & Flow exhibition is getting closer but the project itself has been almost two years in the planning. 

It started with an invitation from Grimsby Minster to show our work in the Minster which is a busy and vibrant resource for the people of North East Lincolnshire, an “architectural gem” tracing its history on this site for more than 900 years. I soon realised, however, that because we are such a large group of very diverse artists that there would not be enough suitable hanging space and display for smaller 3D work in the Minster for all of our work to be shown.

A second venue was sort and we were offered the upper floor, the mezzanine, of the Muriel Barker Gallery at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre was purpose built and opened in 1991. Its permanent exhibition tells the story of the Grimsby Fishing Industry in its heyday in the1950s. The white-walled space at the Fishing Heritage Centre contrasts nicely with the grandeur of the Minster.

image of All at Sea

Lucy Brown
All at Sea

The Ross Tiger, GY398, is an ex-working 1950’s trawler and the largest item in the heritage collections. Lucy Brown, one of our exhibiting members has made site specific work to be shown on board the Tiger. The image left shows Lucy’s ‘sea bags’ which will be installed around the living quarters on the Tiger. Once the venues were in place we worked on the detail of the project and funding bid to Arts Council England by Grimsby Minster which was successful. This enabled us to work with freelance writer and curator, June Hill who has been on hand to advise the group throughout the project and who will be opening the exhibition on 13th September. It also helped the group to put together a full education programme and to produce a full colour catalogue with professional photography which will be on sale at both venues.

Details of our education programme can be found here. Many of our members visited Grimsby in February when we were given a tour of both venues and of the museum collections store. All of our exhibitions are selected by a selection panel of 5. The panel is different for each exhibition and can include a representative from the venue. The selection process has now been completed and 37 pieces of work were selected for the exhibition made by 28 artists.


Photography Day at the Minster

This week we also completed the photography for the catalogue which is now in the design stages. The catalogue will be on sale at both venues.

The photographer for the majority of the pieces is David Ramkalawon who came to Grimsby from London for 2 days to photograph work at both venues.

The snap left shows David photographing work in Grimsby Minster. 

Next week the hanging process begins. Watch this space for more ‘behind the scenes’ glimpses of Ebb & Flow.