Jess Grady Textiles Workshop

24th February 2023

Yesterday we were delighted to welcome artist Jess Grady into school! During the afternoon Year 10 had an embroidery workshop where Jess shared her advice and skills on how to incorporate creative embroidery into their work. All of the work they created in the afternoon and the new skills they have learnt will help to develop and enrich the student’s GCSE Textiles portfolios.

‘In the Textiles embroidery workshop, Jessica Grady taught us a variety of beautiful techniques that we can incorporate into our embroidery work and she also showed us a lot of her own work, which was really inspiring to see. Using a dark-coloured piece of fabric for the background and an embroidery hoop, we each layered lots of buttons, sequins and recycled materials on top of the fabric, such as bits of straws, plastic, paper, wrappers, etc, and secured these onto the fabric by sewing hand embroidery stitches, to build up a pattern of our choice. Some of the techniques we learnt from the workshop are couching with thick yarn, making ruffles by forming different shapes with materials and sewing through it, folding and cutting materials to create different shapes and 3D patterns, etc. We also used a die cutter to cut out shapes like circles out of different materials. It was especially helpful because Jessica Grady went around to each of us one by one, to discuss our work and how we could potentially develop it further. We all really enjoyed the workshop and have learnt a lot from it, which we can now use in our own Textiles work’

– Lilly, Year 10 Textiles student.

Over in the Junior Section it was also a creative day! Our Year 4 students are studying Textiles as one of the modules in their creative curriculum. They have been planning a textiles landscape based on the work of textile artist Anne Kelly using felting, embroidery and Japanese sashiko techniques to create their finished piece. Sashiko is traditional Japanese embroidery used to decorate and reinforce materials. The students thoroughly enjoyed taking inspiration from Anne Kelly and having the chance to get creative and create their own interpretation of her work.

As the school day drew to a close, Jess’ workshop then turned into an evening social, as we hosted a ‘Parent-Daughter textiles event’, in which parents were welcomed alongside their daughters to do embroidery. Parents and daughters from both the Junior Section and Senior Section came along, where they created an embroidered brooch and a flat piece; all whilst socialising and getting to spend quality time with family and friends from the Foundation. It was a lovely evening and the perfect opportunity to take some time out of our busy schedules to get creative!

Mrs E Critch 

Head of Textiles

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