Art Textiles Workshop @ Emmett’s Garden, Kent 2022
Nicky Simpson – Course Leader: Textiles Skills Centre
As the nights drawn in and the weather gets colder, the beauty and colours of Autumn and the incoming Winter are upon us. Where better to celebrate this season, than at the National Trust, which is where Nicky led a creative workshop at the enchanting Emmett’s Garden in Kent.
This National Trust Garden is an Edwardian estate that was owned by Frederic Lubbock and standing on one of the highest spots in Kent it offers panoramic views of the unspoilt Weald.
During October Half Term, Nicky lead the ‘Woodland Banners: A Children’s Collective Art Workshop’, in which children aged 7 to 15, came to make botanical banners using fresh foliage, collected that morning from the garden’s fallen autumnal leaves. The participants worked together with Textile Artist Nicky Simpson, to create nature inspired decorative banners using a heat press, which are now on display in the Stables Tea Room at Emmetts Garden.
What is truly lovely is that the children who participated were enamoured by the fact that they would be able to see their own artwork on display at Emmetts as part of the collective art project. Some have even been back to pose for pictures next to the art!
Not only did they work on a collective piece, each child also printed and took home their own keepsake mini banner. They loved this creative experience, as did their parents.
Nicky was amazed at how easily they experimented with painting their leaves, creating different patterns and colours, they weren’t afraid of colour as you can see by their results. Many oohs and aahs were heard as they saw the colours they had painted be transferred onto the fabric. It was smiles all round!
Nicky’s own passions focus on creating Arts and Craft with the heat press, featuring both machine and hand embroidery. Many of her own works involve the flora found naturally in our beautiful English countryside, so this was a lovely project for her to be involved with.
Nicky would like to extend her thanks to the National Trust, the team at Emmetts Garden and the wonderful group of inspiring young people who joined her in the workshops.
“Anyone who thinks fallen leaves are dead has never watched them dancing on a windy day.” Shira Tamir