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Siân Martin 1



Siân Martin 2

Siân Martin offers a variety of learning opportunities:-
  • Workshops for your local group. All workshops will enable participants to explore creative ideas through embroidery techniques lasting one or two days. You can read about ideas of possible workshop topics by clicking here or you can contact Siân to discuss your individual requirements.

  • Illustrated Lectures for your regional event or local group. Siân is happy to include a brief demonstration as part of her talk. To discuss topics please contact Siân.

  • Online Courses with Distant Stitch. Learn and develop your skills by enrolling on a Distant Stitch course. Siân tutors Certificate and Diploma Courses in Embroidery and designing skills. There is the option of registering with City and Guilds. If you'd like details of these Courses, please look at the website - Distant Stitch. You can use the 'Contact Us' button for enquiries or use the details below. Two exciting offers -
    o Download a FREE Embroidery Project to make a colourful stitched bag.
    o Join our Summer School event in July and be inspired for the rest of the year!

  • Residential Masterclass weekends that meet three times a year near Bath. If you have some experience and want to develop your work with like-minded people, this small class will offer you individual support and development opportunities.
Interested? Please email or phone 01278 652089.

Préniac 1 Préniac 2 Préniac 3 Préniac 4 Préniac 5
For further details, call Liz on 0033 5 65 31 88 51

Art Van Go


This workshop has been rescheduled from a date in September due to flooding (not ours!). Not everyone who was booked onto that cancelled workshop can attend this one, so there are still a few places left.
Love Your Sketchbooks
Thurs 5th Feb
Tutor: Vanda Campbell

A day packed full of exciting ideas that will show you how to work confidently in your sketchbooks. Suitable for all levels of experience, you will be shown how to draw confidently, and produce quick pencil sketches, as well as more experimental drawings. Working in a variety of styles, and with plenty of encouragement to try new techniques, you will learn how to expland your drawing skills, to include mixed media, collage, continuous line drawing, and colour experimentation. Lots of fun and encouragement on the way - you need never be ashamed of your sketchbooks again!
Cost: £39.00

More with Creative Drawing
Two Day Workshop Friday 6th - Sat 7th Feb
Tutor: Bobby Britnell

There are many reasons why people draw and many ways of approaching drawing. There are also reasons why people do not draw and this is often due to lack of undestanding and belief in their drawing abilities. This two day course is an accessible course for the beginner or anyone wishing to develop their drawing skills further. Working primarily in pencil, charcoal and pastel, you will be examining and practising techniques employed by the great masters in helping you understand the variety of line and mark on the paper surface. The information gathered will be used creatively in constructing your own compositions, with plenty of instruction and exercises along the way. This will be accompanied with as much hand-holding as individually required and some healthy group critique. It will, of course, also be great fun!
Cost: £92.00 (inc £3.00 materials charge)

Stitched Landscapes
Two Day Workshop Wed 25th - Thurs 26th Feb
Tutor: Angie Hughes

Enjoy collaging a textiles landscape from scraps of your favourite hand dyed fabrics then learn about all the machine embroidery stitches I can squeeze into a day and use them to decorate and enhance your lovely landscape. Pure machine embroidery pleasure.
Cost: £89.00 (inc £3.00 materials charge)

Metal Magic - Stitching into Metal for Beginners
Tues 3rd March
Tutor: Lynda Swaine

This course is designed to give you confidence when stitching into metal. This course will describe a selection of materials available on the market and will explain the best ones to use for stitching. These will include copper, brass, pewter, aluminium, coloured foils, metal fabric, wire mesh and knitted wire. You will be heat-distressing some metals to create exciting colours and shown how to emboss patterns. You will also discover how metal can be distressed using natural products. Then you will explore the best methods of stitching into different types of metal. Metals can often be used to great effect to enhance art or textile work and this course should inspire new creativity, so come and explore the possibilities. Lynda's own samples and explorations will be available to consider. Full written instrructions, plus 'goodie bags' containing samples of various types of metals etc for you to experiment with, will be included in the workshop price.
Cost: £36.00 (inc £7.00 materials charge)

Sarah Burgess, a member of the Textile Study Group, was a featured artist at 'Art in Action' at Waterperry in 2013 & 2014. Sarah taught art, design and textiles in colleges for many years and she has recently completed a MA in Textiles at Manchester School of Art. We are delighted that Sarah has put this workshop together for us!
Interior Landscapes
Two Day Workshop Wed 4th March - Thurs 5th March
Tutor: Sarah Burgess

Travelling through landscape we absorb colour, shape, line and mark both consciously and unconsciously. The ancient and the contemporary; the country and the city, they collide and overlap in our imaginations. Using your own landscape source material as the starting point for a series of mono-print sketches we will build accidental and intentional printed marks on experimental surfaces. Working with stitch and mark-making we will move between fabric and paper to explore the design potential of a range of techniques including several types of mono-print. Paper and fabric prints incorporating text, stitch and mark can be layered, fabrics inserted, contrasts explored and shapes exaggerated to create a personal idea of landscape rather than a specific-place. Following on from a series of initial exercises, you will be encouraged to develop your ideas individually supported by tutorials and group discussion. You will have the opportunity to produce a series of print and stitch sketches which may be studies for more resolved work or artwork in their own right. This workshop is suitable for both enthusiastic beginners and more experienced students.
Cost: £110 (inc £5.00 materials charge)
Numbers will be limited to a maximum of 9

Following the wonderful exhibition of Margaret Nicholson's work we were priveleged to have at Art Van Go in the autumn, Anthea Godfrey has returned to introduce the 'Or Nué' technique that was such a big feature, and was also so much admired.
Or Nué
Sat 7th March
Tutor: Anthea Godfrey

Or Nué is a fascinating technique which has been considered the pinnacle of artistic skill for centuries. It requires patience, technical skill and some previous ability to couch metal thread. Historically, a gift of Or Nue was considered the most precious artifact that Royalty, the Church or the State could bestow on visiting dignitaries from Europe in the Middle Ages. Time consuming and exacting, specialist workshops and religious communities would work in groups to produce large pieces which had been designed by the artists of the time. These were in the main religious in nature depicting Bible stories, angels and Gothic architecture. The embroiderers would work on painted linen (stretched tightly on a frame), using handmade needles, silk and pure gold thread. These metallic threads would be made of beaten gold strips spun round red pure silk threads. Like all things, the technique fell out of fashion but was resurrected by Beryl Dean and Margaret Nicholson. Beryl Dean took the biblical themes of the Middle Ages and developed some exquisite pieces utilizing the ancient method of shading using Or Nue in the traditional vertical or horizontal mode. Margaret Nicholson took the technique and, using her own style of design, developed glittering surfaces using gorgeous colours in silk and metal thread experimenting with direction and surface embellishment. The aim of this one-day workshop is to introduce you to the complexities of undertaking this ancient skill and to develop new ways of developing ideas.
Cost: £35.00 Additional charge TBC
The additional charge for the metal thread, the silk thread selection (tailored to your design), the wooden frame and stretched calico. Estimated £15 - £25

We have a real treat for you with Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn collaborating on a workshop here at Art Van Go!! You will enjoy the benefits of the tuition and expertise from both of these eminent artists in structured sessions over this two day period.
Textured Cloth
Two Day Workshop Tues 10th - Wed 11th March
Tutors: Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn

Jan and Jean will work through innovative methods of constructing cloths from bold, robust textiles to fragile, gossamer ones. They will consider using a combination of hand and machine stitching with mixed media where appropriate.
Cost: £125.00 (inc £5.00 materials charge)
Numbers will be limited to a maximum of 10

Rust Marks
Two Day Workshop Wed 12th - Thurs 13th March
Tutor: Alice Fox

Taking an experimental approach you will learn about the potential for using rusty objects for printing and dyeing on cloth and paper. You will make a range of unique sample prints. These will then be used as a basis for a series of small scale assemblages and collages with hand stitch. Bring along some small rusty objects of your own and see what potential they hold.
Cost: £83.00 (inc £5.00 materials charge)

The Textured Sea Floor
Saturday 21st March
Tutor: Nodeen Salmon

Create dense hand stitching with yarns, cottons and threads of various weights and colours. Thick, thin, shiny, slippery - whatever will go through the eye of a needle! We start by building a fabric background then lay texture onto this surface using exciting products to raise the surface. We will use understated free machine embroidery running stitches in metallic threads to catch the light. Big and small beads add interest and depth to this mainly hand sewn design. Be creative! Suitable for beginners and those keen to explore mixed media.
Cost: £35.00

Embroidered Cards & Boxes
Wed 25th March
Tutor: Alex Waylett

Spend a fabulous day creating your own layered fabric whilst exploring the multitude of decorative stitches available on your sewing machine. Whilst learning about the different materials available to the textile artist you will combine colour texture and stitch to produce a layered sample which will be constructed into cards and /or a decorative box. Ideal workshop for beginners in machine embroidery as well as the more experienced machinist.
Cost: £38.00 (inc £7.00 materials charge)

Small Book, Pefectly Formed
Two Day Workshop Fri 27th - Sat 28th March
Tutor: Frances Pickering

The ultimate course on how to make the most amazing, tiny books.
Cost: £85.00 (inc £4.00 materials charge)

Stitch in Felt
Two Day Workshop Tues 31st March - Wed 1st April
Tutor: Jeanette Appleton

To be aware of the potential of embroidery techniques at each stage of the felting process. In the layering of merino tops and the bonding of stitched fabric and threads within the surface. The use of pre-felts for patchwork and appliqué, with further embellishment by hand stitch. Through exercises and personal tutorials, participants will explore new approaches and working methods. Creating many ideas for future one off textiles, interior or fashion items.
Cost: £117.00 (inc £7.00 materials charge)
Numbers will be limited to a maximum of 10

An Introduction to Lino Cut Printing
Tues 7th April
Tutor: Anna Pye

Enter the creative world of lino-cut printing! This will be a fun day learning about tools, types of lino-papers and inks, and covering the basics of lino cutting and printing. You will experiment on sample pieces of different types of lino, using the gouges, to gain a feel for the tools and the versatility of the marks that can be achieved, then you will select one of the lino types to use for your block. Designs for the block will be discussed with bold, graphic and simple ideas achieving the best results. Once your block is cut you will learn to accurately 'register' the block before inking it and 'pulling' the print by hand. Then there's the excitement of peeling back the paper and revealing the print! Warning!! This could become a serious addiction!!
Cost: £48.00 (inc £10.00 materials charge)
All of the specialist materials needed for the workshop are provided as part of the charge.

Soy Wax and Procion Dye
Thurs 9th April
Tutor: Cherry Vernon-Harcourt

This workshop is designed to give you the opportunity to try different ways of using Soy Wax and Procion MX dye with cotton fabric. There will be demonstrations of different techniques and then you will be able to experiment for yourself. The idea is to go home with lots of samples of techniques rather than a magnum opus! Demonstrations will include applying hot soy wax to cotton fabric using metal tools, tjantings, metal shapes, alphabets, numbers, and a bent fork! Fabric will be folded and clamped before having wax applied. Fabric will be pole wrapped and brushed with wax in preparation for bucket dyeing. Wax will be applied to silk screens which can be used later for printing. You will then try all these different techniques with guidance from the Cherry. Finally, there will be a demonstration of printing with the waxed screens using thickened procion MX dye with the opportunity to try it out!
Cost: £46.00 (inc £6.00 materials charge)

More Stitches and Doodles
Friday 10th April
Tutor: Gina Ferrari

This is a free-machine embroidery workshop using your machine as a drawing tool. Master stitches and control your machine producing some fabulous graphic-style work with text. You will be encouraged to use your machine to accurately draw and write by following simple exercises, increasing control and confidence. The resulting samples will have a quirky style that is easy to achieve even for beginners and will be suitable for application to numerous projects. This is an ideal workshop for beginners but should also be enough of a challenge for those with more experience in machine embroidery. In keeping with Gina's belief that armed with both a mastery of stitches and a thorough knowledge of your sewing machine, you will be able to tackle any machine embroidery project you wish, this workshop places emphasis on gaining perfect control of your stitches through some fun samples.
Cost: £36.00

Make Your Mark
Sat 11th April
Using discharge printing on textiles
Tutor: Clive Barnett

During the morning you will explore discharge printing techniques using silk screens or mono-printing onto natural fabric, creating your own 'mark making'. In the afternoon you can either hand-stitch into your printed fabric or you can continue to build up your own collection of discharged printed samples that you can stitch into at a later date. All equipment/silk screens/fabric provided for this workshop by the tutor.
Cost: £54.00 (inc £8.00 materials charge)
All equipment provided by the tutor.
Numbers will be limited to a maximum of 9

What if?
Less is more working with mixed media and stitch
Two Day Workshop Tues 14th - Wed 15th April
Tutor: Amanda Hislop

Working with restraints of simple materials and limited colour combinations let work grow and unfold in an exploratory workshop creating subtle and dynamic surfaces to stitch and work with mixed media. Transform and manipulate a variety of papers, fabric scraps and muslin scrim, into layered surfaces to work with hand and machine stitch using only white and neutral threads, with grey or black as an option. Let the work unfold; add layers of restricted colour combinations revealing subtle and surprising effects. What would happen if the surface is further developed, by cutting, fragmenting, rearranging, folding, further stitch ...follow your own creative pathway to inspire imaginative outcomes. Suitable for those with an open mind and desire to explore and who enjoy the challenge of intuitive experimentation, exploration and extension of creative boundaries. Enjoy the freedom to develop a collection of paper and mixed media samples, exploring the creative potential of line, colour and texture in textiles and mixed media.
Cost: £85.00 (inc £8.00 materials charge)

Feltmaking for Beginners
Wed 16th April
Tutor: Clare Bullock

This workshop is designed to teach a beginner coming to feltmaking how to lay out fibres to create a truly lovely, even piece of felt that you will be proud of. The day will cover, amongst other things, why wool shrinks, the best fibres to use for your project, colour mixing your wool by carding, making up prefelts, and making simple 3D objects. All of this can easily be achieved using wools, soap, water and good old fashion elbow grease. There will be plenty of samples and different books to read. With just a little flare and imagination the possibilities are endless.
Cost: £37.00 (inc £5.00 materials charge)
If required, there will be a charge of £8.00 for a bamboo blind

Creative Fabric Colouration
Sat 18th April
Tutor: Pauline Verrinder

During this workshop we will be experimenting with quick and simple ways to colour small amounts of fabric. Techniques covered will include fabric and thread dyeing in a jar, crystal printing, simple shibori techniques, direct painting and others, time permitting. Ideally suited to beginners and those who want to extend their repertoire or be reminded of techniques and how to develop them.
Cost: £37.00 (inc £4.00 materials charge)

Indigo Shibori
Tues 21st April
Tutor: Janice Gunner

Spend a fantastic day dyeing 'The Blues'. Working with natural fabrics you will create unique patterned fabric by experimenting with a variety of Shibori resist techniques as featured in my book Shibori for Textile Artists. You will then dye the fabrics, including threads and yarns to tone with them using Indigo, the most magical of dyes. Your results can then be used in a variety of textile techniques such as patchwork, embroidery, felt making and more!
Cost: £48.00 (inc £3.00 materials charge)

Art Van Go (WOW),
The Studios,
1 Stevenage Road,
Knebworth, Herts SG3 6AN, UK,
tel. 01438 814946,
web site

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