About E.A.S.T

East Anglian Stitch Textiles (E.A.S.T) was formed in 1995 in response to a demand for a self-supporting framework for textile artists in East Anglia, UK.


The membership of this group commenced with ten artists and now has fifteen.


Since it's inception E.A.S.T has had a close relationship with Braintree District Museum where it meets monthly and held the first E.A.S.T exhibition in 1997.The group continues to be mentored by Anthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of the Embroiderer's Guild.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Japanese dyeing

Last month I was in the Kensington area of London with about 40 minutes to spare between appointments.  What better place to visit than the Victoria and Albert Museum.  There just happened to be an exhibition of natural dyeing in the Japanese Gallery with displays relating to one man's search for lost techniques. 





Videos not only showed some of the dyeing processes but also explained about some of the ceremonies that related to the practice - including the making of dyed paper flowers (see below).



Sadly the display has gone now and my images do not do it justice, but it just shows how even a half hour visit can be quite inspiring.





Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Adding a little minimal stitching

Spending a few days adding a little minimal stitching to (hopefully) enhance my large Shibori piece. Proving a pain in more than one way as I’m suffering with a really painful thumb joint which makes pulling the needle through excruciating so it’s been going very slowly. Hoping I’ve finished but looking at the pic just wondering if I need more.


Carol Dixon

Thursday, 24 January 2019


EAST BLOG January 2019
Ready to go!
By Melinda

Over the years as a textile tutor and mentor I have said too many times to count, “the work is not finished till the framing / presentation is dealt with”
My new motto is the work is not finished until the packaging and means of transportation are sorted!

Wow what a week. I always knew it would be a bit of a mission to be producing my work for EAST in one country and exhibiting it in another. Yes, I could have made it easy for myself and worked “small” or at least a little smaller but my creative self would not allow me to be dictated by such practical matters as how to get the work back to the UK. At least the smaller pieces can travel with me as hand luggage

And so, the normal excitement of collecting my work from the framer was slightly overshadowed by the reality that it was now that delivery to the UK had to be dealt with. After several days and many phone calls and running around (not aided by a nasty flu virus), we are ready for collection. DHL is supposedly appearing at my little house in the North of Israel on Sunday and as if by magic my work should be in Chelmsford ready for me to bring to the next EAST meeting.

A million things can still go wrong but I am at least fairly confident that the many layers of bubble, shrink plastic and this amazing water tight plastic sheeting that a cousin sourced for me, will re-define the meaning of “proper packaging.”

I have done my best. It will probably take as many days to unwrap all the layers, but only then will I truly give a sigh of relief and think finished! Fingers crossed please!


Ready and waiting for collection

Friday, 18 January 2019

Mark Making on Silk Organza

Mark making on silk organza using procion dyes and Manutex with bits of garden hose, an old umbrella handle, edge of a credit card, etc.  Overlaying and arranging till a winter landscape emerges - a few spare hours playing with fabric.









Sunday, 2 December 2018

Alchemy with Natural Dyes

Students on my workshop [Jenny Leslie] worked very  hard yesterday. We used 3 natural dyes, brasil wood, buckthorn bark and woad.
the buckthorn bark vat
brasil wood vat
After dyes some fabric we over dyed with woad and applied after baths to get a very good range of colours.
 
These are the students results aren't they great.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Textiles from another ocean




Oceania, is one of the current exhibitions at the Royal Academy in London (continues until 10 December 2018).  This is a personal reflection of some of the issues and objects I found particularly interesting but especially those linked to textile art.

On entering the gallery you are confronted by an enormous blue cloth - stitched and slashed - made by the artist Kiko Moana of New Zealand.  It seemed to me the perfect illustration for an exhibition that was considering the art and cultures of a region both connected and divided by water.  As a modern work it was also a reminder that this is not about an art and culture from the past - this was an exploration of Oceania throughout its history.

The second art work was a film, Tell Them, by Kathy Jetnil-Kijna.  It begins with a description of a piece of jewellery, leads to a discussion about Marshall Island and its people, and ends with their fears for the future.  It was about the links between cultures.  It was a reminder that actions in one part of the world impacts on others.




The exhibition continues with a vast array of items - canoes, figures, musical instruments, navigational charts each one telling just a little about a vast array of diverse communities.  There were also plenty of textile items.  There were many pieces of bark cloth but also pieces of patchwork.  The relevance of Samoan fine mat was fascinating in that these precious items were also used in ceremonies of reconciliation.

In addition there were several pieces of jewellery.


The curators of this exhibition were not shy about discussing the problems that began when Europeans, James Cook in particular, first encountered many of these cultures.  Equally the curators were keen to highlight that not all of the objects displayed were looted items - many were gifted by their original owners or traded.  Curation and display, it seems, was also a big part of this story.


The impressive mourner's costume was a reminder that many of the objects on display were not originally intended to be static items but were part of a larger picture that would have included sound, scent, movement, etc.  It  highlights another major theme - that many of the objects are about memory.  The past and the present are combined in such items.

Having visited the British Library's exhibition James Cook: The Voyages (which finished at the end of August), it was interesting to see two such different responses to the same starting point - both exhibitions relate to the 250 year anniversary of James Cook's first voyage of discovery.  Both were very thought provoking and both were reminders of how the actions of the past still resonate in the present.


Janette