Last year Newport Borough Council decided that it was no longer viable to continue providing City and Guilds Creative Textile courses, I was very upset to say the least not only for me but for the students who had embarked on their creative journey and that they would not be able to continue learning and taking part in this wonderful course. When Margaret Walker joined us by zoom for the end of year assessment she was kind enough to recommend another provider, namely Sue Brook from a company called Link to create. This was our lifeline to continue teaching and learning and I am very grateful to them both for their support and help in the transition to being able to provide this exciting creative course for many years to come.
My name is Beccy Paget and I can’t wait to help you become a textile artist!!!
Let me tell you a little about the course:-
We begin the course in September and follow the scholastic year. I run the course over 36 weeks, a weekly session of 3 hours in the classroom where I demonstrate a variety of textile and art based techniques. You will then have the opportunity to practice the techniques under my guidance and then continue your learning at home. Through out the weeks you will gain a bank of knowledge that you will record in a workbook/sketchbook . This will become a good source of reference and inspiration, and it will also serve you for many years to come. This is very much a practical course but you are required to record the techniques, evaluate your work and understand the health and safety issues applied to that technique. Mostly it’s an enormous amount of fun and very satisfying playing with all sorts of mediums, gorgeous threads, fabrics and exciting textile techniques.
The course is made up of four units.
101 – design
This unit covers the arty side of the course. You will learn the basics of design including line, texture and colour. We start with the basics of mark making, probably one of my most favourite techniques to teach. Every student is always surprised at the amazing outcome of simple mark making both in pen, pencil, paint and then stitch. The end result is fascinating and encaptures the very core of design. There is much more to this unit that students often feel is not relevant to embroidery and textile art but to me this part of the course and the next unit is the most important part. It teaches you a great deal about experimentation, learning to look and see all around you from a different perspective and also about how to think outside the box away from the conforms of an embroidery kit of following patterns and reproducing someone elses design. It will teach you create your own unique work and help you to form your own style of working.
102 – design
In this unit it is my job to teach you about “materials”. In City and Guild world this does not necessarily mean a woven cloth. We will explore and learn about many different types of materials, fabrics, threads and the equipment used thereof. Nothing is out of bounds here, there are some textile artists that stitch into wood, metal and maybe most surprisingly their own skin, but I will certainly not be making you experiment that far! It’s about making you aware that there are no surfaces that stitch can’t be used upon. I will help you to see past convention and take you on a journey of understanding through the design unit and the technicalities of maybe using more unconventional materials, not generally associated with machine and hand embroidery.
104 – hand embroidery
If your an avid embroiderer or know nothing, this part of the course is probably what you would expect to learn on an embroidery course. Although you will decide what stitches to use, what thread to use, what needle will suit your chosen design and how you will approach an embroidery from your own design. I will guide you and advise you but ultimately I want you to learn to think for yourself and form your own opinion on how you would like your samples to work out. We will sample embroidery on techniques covered in the two previous units, which is why I link all the units together instead of teaching each unit individually. It will help you from the very beginning to think of any artwork that you produce as a surface to stitch upon. Your knowledge will grow over the weeks and you will learn how to use stitches to replicate line, colour and texture.
105 – Machine embroidery
Machine stitching for embroidery has been around a lot longer than you might think, today machines are very sophisticated using computer software to generate complicated embroidered designs. The machine is probably my forte having worked for an independent sewing machine company for 25 years. This unit teaches all aspects of using your sewing machine to produce embroidered works through machine quilting, applique, decorative machine stitches and free motion embroidery. You will not be expected to have a top of the range machine for this level indeed not any level but if you wish to explore this side of machine sewing then I have the facilities to be able to show you this side of using the machine for embroidering.
I encourage all my students to follow their own creative path, I want you to become confident in your decisions and have the knowledge to experiment and to create pieces of art that you will be proud of. Ultimately this course is designed to teach you to have a career in textiles, but don’t let that put you off it’s also designed to fulfill your potential as an artist for personal achievement. There is a great personal satisfaction to be had from taking part in this varied and exciting course. Keep an open mind, love embroidery and art and you will thoroughly enjoy the course, you will be amazed at what you can do with encouragement and knowledge.
There are many pictures in the gallery to whet your appetite and please contact me if you require any further explanation about how the course can help you and your creative path.