Blackwork & Hand Embroidery with Fran Burden

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Blackwork & Hand Embroidery with Fran Burden

Friday 01 February 2019

Session: 1


Time: 11.00am - 4.30pm

Level: Complete Beginner

Maximum Class Size: 10

This Blackwork workshop with Textile Artist Frances Burden will give you the opportunity to slow down, unwind and learn the calming techniques of hand stitched patterning.

Level: Complete beginner.

Geometrical precision and the repetition of motifs give this embroidery a unique form. Based on the regularity of it’s stitches, Blackwork is a traditional form of embroidery, usually worked in black thread on a white background, using running stitch, back stitch and cross stitch.

During this workshop Frances will teach you how to work a range of dfferent stitches so that you can create your own embroidery sampler demonstrating motifs. You'll be inspired by Frans exquisite portfolio of work along with the book references that are on display. Although the stitches can be intricate it won't be long before you've filled your embroidery hoop will different stitch styles and the end results are very impressive! 

You will cover the following in class:

  • Discover the history of Blackwork and be demonstrated stitching methods

  • Learn repeat pattern 'tiling' and natural motif's, these can be included in a finished design.

  • Learn practical tips to help you to become a confident stitcher

  • A little bit of history: The earliest examples used geometric forms or small floral patterns that have roots in Moorish, Islamic and North African art, and there are examples of this work being used to decorate textiles in Egypt. Repeat pattern, 'tiling' and symmetrical shapes are common in these early examples. Later Blackwork from the Tudor and Elizabethan era, reflects the growing interest in nature, in gardens and the seasons and is much more pictorial.

    All tools, worksheets and equipment will be provided. Lunch and refreshments are included.


    Frances Burden is a Textile Artist. She studied Painting at Slade School of Fine Art in London and recently moved to Wakefield in West Yorkshire where she continues to practise Blackwork and Hand Embroidery. Frans work explores how process and making can be both adaptable and purposeful, she explores pattern making, and experiments in structure and systems within material constraints.

    Fran is also part of 'Cubitt Studio's' an artist-led organisation based in Islington, London. Founded in 1991, Cubitt now provides 32 artists’ studios with all artist members taking an active part in the running of the organisation. Most recently, she was involved in Maternal Journal and Creative Birth projects at Kings College Hospital, London which looked into ways that creativity and making can help with pre- and post-natal mental health.