Monday, 8 July 2019

Mary Gamester lecture

Mary Gamester is best known for her skill in transfer painting - using disperse dyes to colour synthetic fabrics. She is also a very talented quilted and we were delighted to welcome her to talk to us about her travels in Uzbekistan, India and Vienna.

Mary started her talk in Uzbekistan and showed us lots of amazing samples of the suzani embroidery - all done in tiny chainstitch.  They dont use images of animals or people for religious reasons so there is lots of very subtle symbolism built into the embroidery - for example an 8 point star means eternity. 

She also explained Ikat dyeing where the warp threads are dyed first to create the patterns.  We were surprised at how prevalent velvet and velour type materials are in such a hot country.   Mary was also inspired by the patterns and colours in the tiles and has made several pieces of work using these as her starting point.

She had always wanted to go to India having been inspired by a teacher and when she finally went she fell in love. Now she has been 6 times.   This was the second country she told us about.  Her main theme from this country was, of course, elephants but she was also inspired by the large amounts of Shisha work and has made bags etc incorporating these mirrors.  The delicacy of the work was again quite breathtaking.

Her final tour stop was Vienna where she found it very hard to track down Hundertwasser but she did eventually and her piece with all the houses on was fun.

Thank you Mary for that lovely talk and all the inspiring samples you had to show - no wonder you always go with 2 suitcases.








a lovely  long waistcoat Mary made

india inspired elephants of course!

another fabulous jacket using indian fabric


Pieces inspired by India

textile transfers in action


inspired by Hundertwasser

Clare Starmer

Local artist Clare Starmer came to talk to us about her work and her artistic life. (there were a lot more images but technical problems means I cant load them- sorry)


Clare describes herself as a Mixed media artist, and Arts and Artists facilitator, Artivist, cultural development officer for Birmingham City Council, An assessor (Arts) for Children in Need. (its amazing she has time to eat and sleep with that lot!) She has a BA Hons Degree in Combined Arts as well.

She is a member of Wolverhampton Society of Artists (and on the committee) and has taken part in Open Studios with them.  She is a founder member of the Junction Festival in Chapel Ash and has taken more of a back seat in this role now but has still exhibited there every year.  As well as this she is an Ambassador for the Asylum gallery. 




Great use of buttons.


mixed media painting


lovely fun elephants

some watercolour experiments

this page in her sketch book made me laugh - don't we all feel like that sometimes?


included in her sketchbooks were some lovely works using machine stitch  on paper and interesting threads.





this is a photocopy of the back of a stitched  piece