GUEST SPEAKER, TALKS BASED AROUND SILK, TEXTILES, FASHION, ART.
You are most welcome to choose the topic that you think would be exciting and appropriate for your group or guild. The silk talks are focused towards your interests and the time available, and often include a power point presentation, a demonstration of spinning silk and a small fashion parade of unique silk garments. The pictures are taken from photos, paintings and illuminated manuscripts and offer a fascinating glimpse into earlier fashions and life styles. To arrange for a talk or seminar or discuss the requirements for your group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Designing your work to win
Is it ART or is it CRAFT?
This new silk talk explores the differences between art and craft and our perception of them, and traces their history from the honours given to a master craftsman for his masterpiece, to the accolades given to today’s successful artists. It explores the world of arts and crafts and suggests ways you can tell the difference.
The Secrets of Silk: From the Myths and Legends to the Present Day
This is a general overview of the history of silk, and traces the way the knowledge of silk traveled around the world from early China, crossing barriers and boundaries. Such a valuable commodity, it was used to promote status, to pay troops, and at times was worth more than its weight in gold. With new chemical developments imitating silk, and the rise in living standards in many silk producing countries, its production is far from certain. Time is allowed for questions, especially of care and handling of different silks. This silk talk is especially suitable where the audience has a large range of interests and where a powerpoint presentation is not appropriate.
Marco Polo and the Silk Route
Having recently returned from another fantastic trip in the Footsteps of Marco Polo, this talk traces the journeys Marco Polo, his father and uncle made during the 13th century. It highlights the conditions along the various Silk Routes and the ancient textiles and treasures discovered in Central Asia. It is illustrated with pictures from Medieval Manuscripts of the route Marco Polo traveled, and photos from my recent trips when we actually saw many of these wonderful places and ancient sites, mummies, mausoleums, minarets, madrassas and museums. Email email@example.com to get all the latest information.
The Medieval Spinners Dyers and Weavers
This silk talk tells the stories of the Medieval craftswomen and the pleasures and pressures they were under. It is illustrated with magical pictures from ancient manuscripts, including not only the Virgin Mary spinning, embroidering, weaving, dyeing and knitting but also apprentices’ masterpieces and different kinds of spindles, spinning wheels and looms.
Silk: Its a Man’s Game
Silk is usually thought of as a feminine pursuit, with textiles, embroidery, sewing and fashion, but it was the men who were the powerful ones. They handled the bulk of the silk, fibre and fabrics, arranged for its production, transport, finance and signed the contracts. They were the ones who had the adventures, survived the hardships and manipulated and schemed to control this valuable commodity. While it was the women who looked after the silkworms, spun the silk and often wove or embroidered the cloth, it was the men who held the power. This is a great silk talk for a business or public service group, or an after dinner speech and always arouses a lot of interest and discussion.
Reading the Pictures, Did you know the Virgin Mary was a Knitter?
This talk brings together some of the wonderful pictures of the Holy Family and other famous and noble people and shows them to be just ‘ordinary folks’, presented in their best clothes or engaged in domestic tasks. The tiny illustrations can be read for their social content, the types of clothes, houses and gardens and people’s status and pretensions. You can learn to ‘read the pictures’ and discover the hidden world in illuminated manuscripts and public paintings, skills useful for understanding art of all periods.
Ancient to Modern: From Knitted Socks to Wearable Art
Glorious knitted silk tomb pillows have been found in Spain, exquisite silk stockings were given to Queen Elizabeth I and fine silk has been knitted into many precious and costly gifts and garments. The development of the knitting machine accelerated the process and now knitting has entered the realm of wearable art.
The History of Fashion
The history of fine dressing and style can be told through paintings, wills, brasses and sumptuary laws. Much can be read about people’s wealth and status, priorities, class and taste by examining their choice in clothes. This silk talk is of special interest to everyone involved in fashion and textile crafts, embroidery, lacemaking and quilting.
In addition, a new series of lectures on the History of Fashion, Pt I & Pt II were held at Devonport and it is hoped that with the restarting of lectures at Auckland University that a new series will be held there and repeated in Devonport. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Wow Factor! Designing your work to win
This silk talk explains just exactly what it takes to produce a prize winner! It identifies the different types of competition, and then explains the process that a judge goes through and how one item is perfect for Show and Tell, another for a Regional Day and what it takes to make a Supreme winner at a National Exhibition. There will be lots of examples, time for questions and discussion.
Kimono & the Art of Silk in Japan
Silk has always been part of the life of Japan. This silk talk follows the development of sericulture and the kimono in particular, highlighting the exquisite techniques used to decorate the fabric, and the changes over time. A beautiful kimono will be displayed and the subtle messages of each aspect of the kimono and the life of the Geisha will be discussed.
Old World, New World: Silk around the world
This is a review of silk in China, India, Korea, Japan, Thailand, many parts of the world. It explores the history of silk and notes the changes, especially since China has been admitted to the World Trade Organization and the effect this has had on all the other silk producing countries. It looks also at the scientific developments and to the future of silk.