I spent another lovely evening at Leicester's Sew Sociable on Friday night with a fascinating talk from Jamie Chalmers (Mr X Stich). A man with an obvious passion for embroidery and needlecraft who led us on a whistle stop tour of contemporary talent with examples of artwork ranging from the cult to the exquisite.
As an artist turned textiles teacher the subject matter was close to my heart and although I was already passingly familiar with a number of the artists, there are now a good few more names scribbled in the 'to investigate further' section of my notebook.
I was particularly interested in his tales of his fellow manbroiderers considering I spend most of my days persuading sulking teenage boys to pick up a needle and thread. I did ask him for some advice on this at the end of the evening and he pointed me in the way of Makoto Oozu, a Japanese cross stitcher who creates canvases filled with tiny embroidered objects (the boys will be particularly interested in the video game one I am sure!).
Not only is Jamie extraordinarily knowledgeable about his subject but has an enthusiasm for it's scope and possibilities that was infectious, and I came away from the evening brimming more full with creative ideas than I have ever been after a sew sociable event, even though I didn't participate in the practical cross-stitch workshop he held after his talk. I've certainly become a subscriber to his fantastic blog.
Kim is a textile artist based in Portsmouth. She studied Illustration at Kingston University before becoming a textiles teacher. She combines the two disciplines to create retro inspired fabric artworks and playful images of pop culture.