Kimberly Servello's Embroidery Blog

Kimberly Servello - Pattern Drawer and Embroideress

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nicola Jarvis & May Morris @ William Morris Gallery, London

A few weeks ago I received an email from Nicola Jarvis asking if I would participate in an embroidery collaboration project for her solo art & embroidery exhibition at the William Morris Gallery in London.  My answer was Yes! before I'd finished the 2nd sentence in her email.  A chance to embroider something to be shown in the William Morris Gallery in London?  Given William Morris's influence on embroidery - elevating it back to its rightful place as an art form - does one really need to pose that question to a stitcher?  I feel very honored to have been asked to participate in the project and hope I can justify Nicola's faith in my abilities.


For those of you unfamiliar with Nicola, she's an artist & embroiderer, graduated from the RSN.  Her bio listed on the link will give you an idea of her many talents.  I met Nicola when I took her crewel embroidery class a couple years ago at Winterthur's Who's Your Daddy needlework seminar.  We emailed once or twice after the class and then fell out of touch, so it was a real surprise to hear from her.  If you ever have a chance to take a class from Nicola I'd highly recommend you do.  She's a wonderful teacher - extremely knowledgable, but kind and totally approachable so that you wouldn't feel uncomfortable asking her even the most basic of questions.

Nicola was awarded Overall Winner of the WM Gallery's Inspired by Morris competition in 2010.  Looking through her work I was especially drawn to her birds (scroll down on the link to see the Robin and Blackbird).  When I mentioned that I thought her birds magical she decided to send me a Bluebird as my project. I couldn't wait for my package to arrive so I could see him.  I wasn't disappointed - he's delightful.  


Upon opening the package I was both delighted and intimidated to discover that my Bluebird is painted on Dupioni Silk!  It's pale olive or sage green in color - the beauty of the color just doesn't come through on my photos, unfortunately.  The color of the silk is   such a perfect foil for the bird's colors that I can't imagine him on anything else.  I've never stitched on silk before so this will be a new experience.  

  Included in the package are silk and metal threads and sparkly filament threads.  The filament threads are also new for me, but so beautiful that I can't wait to use them.  I can select from the threads provided or use something of my own and how I embellish my Bluebird is entirely up to me.  


I have about 6 weeks to complete this project and return it to England.  I'll be blogging about my progress so stop back to see how I'm doing.  When I'm finished embellishing my Bluebird he will be made into an evening bag for the exhibition. 



Best of all, after the exhibit closes my Bluebird will fly back to me! 

 

17 comments:

  1. I have done three workshops with Nicola Jarvis and can vouch for all you say. She is such an nice person to deal with. The current project I am working on is a 3 year project with Nicola and am enjoying every minute.

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    1. Hi Hillside,

      I assume you're taking the classes in person, not online. How lucky for you to live nearby!

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  2. I love this design and envy you the opportunity to stitch it for this exhibition. I shall enjoy watching your progress and seeing how you choose to embelish the little chap.

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    1. Hi coral-seas,

      Nicola's paint-work (fabric paint) is so beautiful that I emailed her that I hated to cover it. I was pleased when she responded that I don't have to. I can embellish without covering the paint. That's how I was envisioning him, so this works for me, though I may cover a few small areas.

      Kimberly

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  3. your work is great..you deserve to be there William Morris Gallery

    Good luck , all the best

    Margarita

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  5. What beauty-his eye peering at you with that "Ya, I know I look good" gaze. What an honor it is to be chosen to represent another artist.

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    1. Hi Wendy,

      I agree - I began filling the wing area this morning. I stepped back to consider the effect and noticed how real his eye looked. There isn't any black thread in my thread pack and I've begun to wonder what to do about his eye. It seems to be it should be shiny - if I can't find anything suitable I may leave it unstitched.

      Kimberly

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  6. That's a great incentive - I hope you will find many occasions to go out flaunting the finished article!

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    1. Hi Rachel,

      You bet I will! I am hoping to travel to London to see the exhibit - dependent on cost and health. Are you close to London? Maybe we could meet for lunch or something....

      Kimberly

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  7. Congratulations!!! What a wonderful opportunity :) The bird is beautiful, I looked at the close-up of him (her?) and the painting is so well done! My first glance at him I thought he was comprised of pieces of fabric!! Can't wait to see your progress!

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    1. Thanks Karen. I promise to post about his progress and I'll share a photo of the finished purse when it's returned to me.

      Kimberly

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  8. How exciting. This bluebird looks stunning. Congrats. I'm so looking forward to the later updates on this beauty.
    Cheers, from Oshawa Ontario.

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    1. Thanks Brenda. I can already tell you that this is not the last time I'll be stitching on Dupioni silk! A couple years ago someone that has worked on silk told me it was very unforgiving - that where you place the needle for your stitch is where you have to put it. No un-stitching due to snags, etc. After 2 hours of work on this I am loving it. I don't find it terribly unforgiving and I have even removed a stitch.

      Kimberly

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  9. What an exciting and wonderful opportunity! I can't wait to watch this delightful bird "grow" and bloom in joyous color!

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    1. Hi Debby,

      Just keep your fingers crossed that he blooms within 6 weeks : )

      Thanks,
      Kimberly

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