arts and crafts day

Yesterday I was in London with Moonpenny, visiting the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. The tea room was our first stop because by the time we reached the gallery, I’d been travelling for nearly three hours and was in dire need of some Earl Grey. We sat outside on the narrow balcony, overlooking Lloyd Park and its sun-dried grass and flower beds and after we were suitably refreshed, we headed indoors to begin our tour.

Apart from all things William Morris, we had come to see The Art of Embroidery – a solo exhibition by Nicola Jarvis. Ms Jarvis didn’t stitch all the embroidery on display herself and it was pleasing to note that the embroiderers had each been credited in the cards detailing the pieces. Ms Jarvis’s incredibly detailed stitch drawings are difficult to distinguish from actual embroidery. According to the gallery website, her new work has been ‘created in dialogue with the techniques and ideas’ of Morris’s daughter May, who at the age of 23 was the director of the embroidery department at Morris & Co. Seeing all this fabulous work was enough to make me think I should just throw in the towel as far as embroidery goes!

I took a few photographs in the hope that they might inspire me at a later date but there are images of far better quality out there on the net, so I offer you only two to better illustrate the enormous difference between my work and that of others. Even though the techniques are completely different, there’s still no contest. May Morris wins hands down.

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If you’re at all interested in embroidery or William Morris, the exhibition runs until September and is well worth a visit, as is the rest of the gallery contents!

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