27-29th September 2013
There has been a carnival atmosphere in Skipton this weekend with not one, but two fantastic events taking place and the Embroiderers' Guild have been at both!
The Yarndale Festival brought the town to a standstill (quite literally since there were so many cars and coaches descending on the venue). Miles of bunting made from crocheted pennants sent from all around the world festooned the halls of the usually dour Auction Mart. They continued outside, around the trees, along the fences, through the park and into town leading the many thousands of visitors to this hub of creativity. The Guild had display in the entrance hallway with examples of work and details of our programme for this year and 2014. Many of us took turns to man the stand and we enjoyed meeting visitors from as far away as America, Germany and Spain. Guild Secretary and organiser, Brigida Martino said "It was lovely to talk to people about the Guild and hear about their embroidery projects. We have been trying to dispel the myth that you need to be "good at embroidery" to join the Guild. Everyone is welcome at our meetings."
The other, but no less important event, was the Skipton Puppet Festival which took place at various venues around the town, including several marquees, a yurt and a very tiny caravan.
Over the last six months a group of Guild members have been working with Broughton Road Women's Group and artist Jackie Lunn to make a triptych of story cloths telling how group of farmers from Kashmir swapped a life in the fields for the textile mills of North Yorkshire in the 1960's.
The cloths are made from felted wool and hand-painted calico and are embellished with the stories of life in the old country, the journey to Skipton, work in the local mills and settling in the community. They tell of changing means of communication: telegram, letter, cassette tapes, phone and now Skype. It is a celebration of the women's cultural roots and their life as modern British-Asians. The cloths were displayed on board the Kennet barge which has also played a part in this story as it brought bales of Australian wool from the Liverpool docks to the mills of North Yorkshire.
It has been an exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable weekend. Thank you to everyone who helped to make both of these events happen.