Carol Wilkes Workshop

Three months ago, in a moment of enthusiasm and over-confidence, I enrolled in a 2 day free-machining workshop with Carol Wilkes.  The workshop was held last week.

It’s safe to say that , whilst the class was advertised for allcomers regardless of experience, I was very quickly out of my depth.  Excitement and wide-eyed astonishment at what could be achieved fought with sheer terror at the end of each demonstration when I was going to have to ‘give it a go’.  Was it wise to share a workspace with two of my good friends who are both experienced in a good range of free-machining techniques?  They powered along and I limped behind but I did my best and managed to make one of each – OK let’s be honest here – nearly one of each sample Carol showed us.  My fingers simply wouldn’t hold my machined cord so I could stitch it into a lovely circular motif.  Having said that, I’m far from stupid and totally understand the concept and have faith that I will be able to do this in the peace and quiet of my own home without the stresses of a class environment.

The workshop was entitled Surface Embellishment Techniques and Carol proved herself to be master of her machine, full of ideas, innovative techniques and superb outcomes.  We started off by strip piecing some fabrics to a backing and as we made our stand-alone motifs, shapes and cords these were attached until we had a brilliant sampler.  Of course most of mine didn’t actually get assembled but I’ve photographed what I can and I’ll continue making more and practicing what I learned.

This workshop came at a very opportune time, just as I am thinking about Project 7, my Theme Book, and what I’m considering as my major work for the course.  It has already given me more ideas and techniques to consider incorporating and has helped my initial concept to evolve further.  Thank you very much for opening my eyes to something I’ve never tried before, Carol.

About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
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2 Responses to Carol Wilkes Workshop

  1. Jane says:

    what gorgeous bits and pieces – love the 5th spidery “thing”

    • Claire B says:

      It was a piece of black bridal tulle (who would choose black for their wedding?) which we machine corded around and created stand out corner cords as we went. Because we stretched the tulle as we stitched it got nice and misshapen when we released the tension after each side was finished. I used a sparkly metallic crochet cotton and overstitched with black so you can just see the shimmer coming through.

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