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  • Image of Alchemy 2020
  • Image of Alchemy 2020
  • Image of Alchemy 2020
  • Image of Alchemy 2020
  • Image of Alchemy 2020

Alchemy 2020


The medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter, esp. that of base metals into gold.

Begins October 12 for 12 weeks.
(A two week break is built in to this schedule meaning class length will be 14 weeks in total. Schedule details are given further down in this overview.)

*Aims and Content*

Have you ever wanted to create that special piece, the one piece of embroidery which has eluded you for years as you didn't know where to start? You didn't know how to approach decision making re colour, pattern fabric and thread? If so then this online learning programme is for you.

You decide what to make, you decide which techniques to use with the knowledge that I will be there to explain, to guide, to support.

I will use this class as a vehicle to develop my own work providing demonstration of each step taken to build a reference, a library of design ideas for my own finished piece.

In addition to video demonstration of my own investigations I will provide weekly video feedback in a private forum on works and sampling created by the group as and when those works are uploaded for consideration. I will guide you, prompt you, encourage and support you each step of the way.

Please note, you will not be expected to upload images on a weekly basis for feedback/mentoring. Upload these at your liesure. There will be no pressure from me for you to do anything other than work at a pace with which you are comfortable.

Following the completion of this 12 week self directed learning package it is envisaged you will have all the information required to produce a unique piece of embroidered art with inspiration, technique, process and final outcomes determined by you, the artist. Your art piece can be created using virtually any media such as cloth or paper. I will serve as mentor, guiding and advising you at each stage.

Suitable for beginners and the more experienced embroiderer.

The early stages of this programme will reinforce the importance of visual reference as a precursor to design for embroidery. Following initial investigations within a ledger concerning pattern, shape and colour it is envisaged that you will sample ideas with stitch as a means of identifying preferences regarding technique for use in your final piece.

Practical demonstrations will be built into the 12 week programme alongside regular appraisals of work in progress. Demonstrations will be determined by the needs of the group, driven by individual requirements re technique and process.

*My Role*

I will serve as mentor, guiding and advising you where appropriate, perhaps suggesting artists for you to study where I feel this is relevant to your own investigations. I will demonstrate specific techniques you may wish to use, appraise your work in progress and advise on surface design and colour choices. This is not an exhaustive list, merely an indication of the commitment I will provide to you and your chosen path.


Your personal connection to this project will be its driving force. This process belongs to you, is self driven and all creative investigations and final outcomes should speak of you.


Outside of my personal sampling which will be shared and recorded for the group other demonstrations will be provided as and when required depending on the needs of the group and the individuals within the group. The requirements regarding the demonstration of specific process and technique will not be known initially but will become evident as the course progresses.


Demonstrations will be hosted on a dedicated, password protected blog. It will not be possible for video to be downloaded. All videos will have to be viewed through the medium of the class blog. This is to ensure my copyright is protected. I hope you understand the importance of that particular aspect of this class.

A dedicated flickr group will be available where it is hoped you will post images allowing me to assess your progress and appraise/advise. Due to the nature of this programme the flickr group will be private, accessible only to those invited to join the essence only those who have paid for the course. I anticipate certain comments will contain content which should only be available to those who have paid to participate in the class. This will provide protection not only for my copyright but for you and the monies you have paid to participate in the group.

You are more than welcome to post images of your work on your own blogs etc without divulging any of the process provided as part of the class.

***to clarify.....Images within the group will remain private, hidden from the wider flickr community. This is to protect the privacy of any comments I may make on your work***

I will provide basic IT support. This is not an IT class and I am not an expert on that subject. I will provide basic information for you on the use of Flickr and accessing our dedicated class blog.

*Starting Points*

Prior to the commencement of Alchemy begin to gather starting points for your work. These items could take the form of postcards, images from magazines, colour swatches from paint charts or similar. Collect images relating to the work of other artists who inspire you....textile art, sculpture, oil painting. This is a ''personal'' project, it centres around each individual, their aesthetic and creative preferences.
If you are struggling for starting points please take a look at the suggestions below. I can also assist and guide you should you wish.
You are well supported throughout this process and I am available as little or as much as you need me.

*Suggestions for starting points*


Childhood, motherhood, school books, birth certificates, heirlooms, children’s drawings, fairy tales, dolls houses, family photographs, vintage domestic cloth.


Cutlery, whisks, crockery, floral furnishing fabrics, painterly wall coverings, framed artworks, home baked bread, cakes, cups and saucers, teapots, pans.

World Community

Global living, travel, natural fibres, folklore, ethnic art, Peruvian, Mexican, Japanese, Inuit, Aboriginal, rich embellishment, shisha work, kantha work.

Future Living

Innovation, new technology, computers, modern architecture, sound waves, kaleidoscopes, mobile phones, graphic symbols, signage, techno textiles.

Natural World

Coral, shells, sea life, animals, moss, plant life, volcanic rock, fossils, rock formations, agriculture, oceans, weather, cloud formations.

*Expected Outcomes*

It is anticipated that by the end of our 12 week run you will have a greater appreciation of the design process which has led or will lead to the completion of your finished piece. In addition it is hoped that you will have created an informative reference in the form of a working ledger alongside a collection of embroidered samples.


Your Ledger will document your progress throughout the course and is a crucial element in the creation of your finished piece. A record of your experience, the ledger may include sketches, thoughts, diagrams, notes, photographs, artist/designer images that inspire and influence you, computer generated imagery, printed fabric, embroidered samples. This is not an exhaustive list, you may add anything of your choosing to your ledger which connects you to the work.

A video will be provided in your welcome mail where the design ledger will be discussed.

Please do not be concerned if you are not comfortable with ledger work, drawing or painting. ''mark making'' is a process which evolves from many media including cloth and thread. Alongside suggestion for drawn and painted work will be alternative process for creating reference to colour and pattern using cloth and thread.

(the use of pencils, pens, paint etc is not compulsory. It is unlikely I will be using any of that media preferring to record my ideas in fabric and thread)


Built into this 12 week programme are two free weeks which will allow space for Christmas making this course 14 weeks in length.
By that time I think a break will be good for you too. A time for reflection perhaps.

Video will be posted at least once weekly dependant on the needs of the group.

October 12. Class begins. Active week.

October 19. Active week.

October 26. Active week.

November 2nd. Active week.

November 9. Active week.

November 16. Active week.

November 23. Active week.

November 30. Active week.

December 7. Active week.

December 14. Break

December 21. Break.

December 28. Active week.


January 3 Active week.

January 10. Active week. (final week)


Upon registration you will receive further information in e mail form where suggested equipment for the course is discussed along with a video where options for your design ledger are considered. (please allow 24 hours for this to arrive)

Access to all resources is permanent. There are no deadlines. I will remain available to you after the conclusion of our 12 week period in an advisory, appraisal video demonstrations will not be provided after the 12 week period has ended.

Please note, for me as mentor Alchemy is a huge commitment which consumes my creative life for its duration. For this reason a minimum number of participants is essential. In the unklikely event that minimum registration numbers are not met this online learning programme will be cancelled and all moneys refunded in full.

Refunds will not be given however should you decide to leave the class once we have begun.

You may contact me at any point prior to class beginning if you have any questions or queries.

Similarly, should you have any questions before registering for this class please do not hesitate to get in touch using either the Big Cartel contact form or by emailing me at