Saturday, 8 June 2013

Kay Dennis - Stumpwork

Today we had a lovely June meeting on a very hot sunny day with husband and wife team, Kay and Michael Dennis
Michael is the chairman of the Needle-lace society
Michael showed us examples of his needle-lace work
Kay began the slide show with a history of stump work - formerly known as raised work. It was full of insects and animals by young ladies to impress their prospective husbands. Figures had wooden hands and faces, wrapped in threads after a light glue application - cut from wooden stumps - stump work.

Here is Kay with a 3D garden in stump work which took 2 years to make and has everything from hanging basket to wrought iron gate made by Michael. In true tradition of stump work, proportion is never to scale, so the vegetables are not in proportion to the flowers or the fruits.

2008 is embroidered on the canvas wall - the year in which Kay began the garden.
Note the detail and the lovely gate

Aerial view of the garden - vegetable patch in the bottom right corner

Wisteria on another wall of the garden

Some areas of silk, have been painted with silk paints. Michael made the acorn and pear moulds for Kay which she wrapped  and needle-laced

Fantastic detail of needle-lace work

Such delicate work - very time consuming and 'fiddly' as Kay describes it, but the process is worth it. Kay is obviously a very passionate teacher and deems it a great privilege to teach her process

Pat didn't have to be asked twice to model the acorns as an exquisite brooch

More delicate stump work A4 in size

Kay has completed an 18 month project for the Embroiderers' Guild, to produce a portfolio on Stump work. A further project was for the National Trust; Lytes Carey Manor House in Somerton. She was asked to produce 6 images from 2 seventeenth century mirrors, in a storyboard fashion. Kay made a caterpillar, a ladybird, needle-lace flower, tree and berries and the Squire just as they would have made them in the seventeenth century.
The 3D piece on the right is exquisite - can be held and seen from all angles. Absolutely beautiful.
Sometimes Kay makes a 'slip', usually on calico, stitches it, cuts it out and then appliqu├ęs it to the background. That is how these lovely ''Blissful Sheep'' were created. 
'Untidy' French knots for the bodies, bullion knots for the horns and leather faces
It is clear that Kay is passionate, and we were very pleased to share her passion this afternoon.

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