On Saturday the Medieval Historian and I went to the Gwent Quilters. This was a return visit for me, and I wondered why the MH was quite so keen to come with me. Then I remembered the lovely lunch they put on as part of their summer party. Even the dog enjoyed his doggy bag on our return.
I really enjoyed being with them again; they are a really great bunch: full of fun and passionate about their craft. I also enjoyed wearing my presentation shoes:
The adrenaline of doing the talk means you don’t notice that you are tottering about in these so you can break them in fairly painlessly, and they are really good fun to wear, as I would imagine pattens were in the past, like this detail from the Arnolfini Marriage:
There are two things I want to think about with regard to my visit. The first is that their website is particularly good (http://gwentquilters.weebly.com/). It has a lovely gallery of their work which is very accomplished. They have a star member, Diana Brockway who produces stunning work, but the group a a whole is very skilled. I really recommend it.
The second thing is that my talks are different every time I give them and I can see how they move on. I gave a talk in Oxford where I used slides and talked a lot about technique. That is a good presentation, I think, but most groups prefer things rather than slides, and so I usually take artefacts rather than a projector, which is a shame as I like to share ideas on making. But taking the things determines what the talk is about. On Saturday I talked a lot about the dolls I have made for the project as that seemed to be what they responded to most strongly. This was good for me as it enabled me to talk about a new set of ideas in my work about the direction Laura Ashley plc went in. It was the first time I have made the presentation about this and talked the idea through from start to finish, and the Gwent Quilters’ reactions were very important as a way of verifying the ‘data’. That was quite exciting.
So, thanks again to the Gwent Quilters. I look forward to seeing you all again soon.