Missenden Abbey is situated in Buckinghamshire. It is only about 40 miles from where I live, and our usual route is across country, avoiding, for the most part, motorways. In fact I only travel about six miles along a motorway before leaving it and heading towards Windsor. On Friday the traffic was dreadful. Far worse that I had seen it for some time. I presumed that it was due to it being the end of half term, but I was astounded to find that when I got to my exit junction I was literally the last car to turn off. It was at a standstill, and there really was just room for me to leave safely. The rest of the journey was so slow. Until within 3 miles of my destination my top speed was 15 miles per hour, I couldn't understand why. However, just as I arrived (over 2 hours later than I had expected) the traffic update on the radio announced a very nasty accident on the M25 with closures for the Air Ambulance. There were several other accidents too, along the same crowded stretch. I discovered that my journey had been much easier than that of some of the other tutors, a couple of whom took 5 hours longer than anticipated. As you can imagine, students were late too...
Missenden Abbey is very popular, and there were 11 students on the course. Four of them had never used an Embellisher before, and the others were of differing experiene, they were, of course ALL lovely people and the group gelled immediately.
The surroundings are beautiful, and it is so easy to work within the peace and quiet. Our room was very well appointed, and it wasn't long before the students had begun to engross themselves in the task in hand! It was lovely to see the individual styles and colourschemes as they worked with fabrics and fibres to create new surfaces. We worked late into the evening on Friday, and even later on the Saturday, even those who were not residents were loath to leave their machines and head for bed! Everything worked really well, and they completed all tasks on schedule.
You can see from this picture that some of them did slope off to eat! However they were soon back at their stations to carry on with their work.
It wasn't long before the first fabrics were created and ready for their transformation. Everyone used different materials, so there was great variety.
By Saturday evening most bags were completed, and we moved on to buttons. They were fun, some were used to 'garnish' the bags, but others were made for different uses.
During the weekend we were able to hear some exciting news. Very shortly the filming of a pilot series of programmes about creative textiles is about to start. We were told by one of the students who is also the co-presenter.
She is in this photograph, but I won't point her out yet..... (No, that isn't me standing at the back, it's one of many visitors that we had over the weekend. ) The programme will be called 'Talking Threads', and will feature 10 artists. It will be broadcast to the UK, and other countries too, but will also be available on the internet. You will be able to learn about people like Gilda Baron, Fay Maxwell and Angie Hughes, each programme will concentrate on one artist, and there will be demonstrations and a 'workshop' too. More details will become apparent as the time approaches for transmission, and I am sure that there will shortly be a website for the show. It is really exciting, with enough viewers it will become mainstream and a regular series.
Watch out for more information. Make sure you watch it, and if you like the idea let the producers know, it's about time our interests had a proper place in the media. I gather that the first programme will be shown in the autumn - so not long to wait.
Oh, and just as an aside...... they have asked me to participate too.....