Botanical & Mandala Workshop in Leek, Staffordshire

I recently had the pleasure of teaching a group of 10 ladies from the Leek & District Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers. This was my first time presenting this new themed class to such a large and established group of textile artists with diverse skill sets, so I accepted the challenge with a mix of excitement and apprehension.

Fortunately, my worries were unfounded. The workshop turned out to be a wonderfully creative, relaxed and productive experience. I set the day rolling with a demonstration of the techniques, explaining the methods and showing how to use the various tools. This hands-on approach allowed everyone to get comfortable with using a tjanting or kistka — many had never tried batik before.

The group was a mix of talented textile aficionados. On one side of the hall, I and several guild members worked away on our batik projects, whilst on the opposite side, others were engrossed in their current spinning, embroidery, and handicraft projects.

The guild only holds a few joint workshops each year, making it a special privilege to be invited to be the facilitator of this event. It was a fantastic team-building exercise, and everyone left feeling proud of their achievements. Leading this workshop was a joy, and I cherish the happy memories we created together.

I look forward to future opportunities to teach and inspire more textile enthusiasts — either as groups or individuals!

Batik Talk to Ashbourne Creative Stitchers in Derbyshire

I was honoured to give a talk and a batik demonstration, followed by a hands-on taster session for the members of Ashbourne Creative Stitchers. Initially scheduled for a year earlier, this event was postponed due to the passing of my father. I dedicated this talk to his memory, as he had always been a significant cheerleader in my early creative journey. So, this one was for Dad — I know he would have been proud!

The talk, which lasted about 50 minutes, featured a slideshow showcasing both my artistic journey and the historical and contextual background of batik. My husband, Jamie, provided excellent IT support and filmed the presentation. As a television sound man, this was a busman’s holiday for him!

The group, consisting of around 25 enthusiastic ladies, welcomed me warmly, putting me at ease instantly. Their diverse textile backgrounds added richness to the session, although many had never tried batik before, making it a delightful new experience for them.

After the talk, we shared tea and biscuits, giving everyone a chance to refresh. While some attendees engaged in their own textile projects, I led an interactive batik session for those eager to try. It was inspiring to see participants experiment with the batik tools and techniques. One lady, in particular, created a fantastic spontaneous design featuring snails!

Many thanks to Ashbourne Creative Stitchers for hosting me and for their patience during this challenging time. Your support and enthusiasm made this event truly special.