TALKS

Developed talks and lectures, suitable for Textile groups, Schools, Universities, Guilds and Organizations:

‘From stories to stitch, Using Textiles to embroider your story’

The talk centres on the inspiration Ailish uses to found her work upon:  “Life experiences, good and bad, can influence us for the positive or the negative, it is our choice”.

'Maker: Mended - What is your repair?'

This talk, goes deeper into personal themes that have influenced her work and how textiles can be a vent for self expression and a way to heal hurt and stress related issues. Ailish has recently written a Critical Review on this topic, thus has a fresh approach to the subject matter. It is her believe that the ‘maker’ can action a form of mending for oneself via the physical act of creating. A series of examples is shown throughout the lecture to illustrate and evidence her views. Audiences are encouraged to look at this topic personally and work out their own version of ‘repair’.

'Stitched Collage Portraits'

Her own body of work surrounding this theme has recently gained much interest from the public.  Thus within this lecture, Ailish vocally and visually explores how she creates her pieces; what underpins them and how you too, can create your own. Samples of her collections are illustrated, including previously exhibited works from her recent solo exhibitions and magazine published pieces.  Time is allowed for questions from the audience.

'Creating a personal narrative'

Through the course of her career, Ailish has often focused on personal experiences as a foundation for her art.  More recently she delved into my own family history archives to use as a research point.  Within this talk, discussion is based on how her findings have been used to develop sensitive and sensory pieces.  The audience is encouraged to do the same with their own personal resources; explaining how it is possible.  For this talk outcomes related to this subject matter are brought along, including recently made "archive" books.

'A Textile learning curve:  A journey though a BA in Textiles'

'A light hearted look at what it is really like to do a BA, the ups and downs, the stories.......along with helpful advice for those who would like to begin a more formal way of learning Textiles and Fine Art.'

'Creative Sketchbooks' 

Learn how I have personally made sketchbooks and how you can create your own, using inspiration from memories, travel and even your own home.

'Butchery, a journey through dress making'

Based on her recently created garments, made from cutting up previously worn clothing and lingerie, using every part for new wearables.  This talk discusses the processes used, as well as their time being exhibited. 

Workshops / Masterclasses'

Ailish takes bookings for any groups, guilds or galleries/venues who would like her to visit to teach.

Please contact her for more information.

Below is a list of a few subjects:

  • ‘Feeling the heat - Creative bonding and fusing' - Creative use of materials and techniques, to create new fabrics and beads with heat distressing tools, such as a Heat Gun and Soldering Iron.

  • 'Stitched Collage Portraits' - Inspired by her own work, this class guides students through the process of making their own portrait outcomes.  Play with paper and collage, which will be mill mix with other media, with the choice to add stitch.  See her 'Reflective Self Portraits' gallery for a visual guide.  You don't have to be able to draw, its all about exploring the collage aspect and expressing your personality!

  • 'Boro Style Patchwork' - The term boro is the Japanese word to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times; it literally means old cloth.  This technique has been passed down for many centuries and is often used to create family heirlooms. Within this class, you will learn to make your own small piece of boro, personalized to you.  Although all materials are included, feel free to bring along any fabric pieces precious to you, which would like to incorporate.  Hand stitching together can be beautifully simplistic, so is suitable for those with little confidence.  Leave the class with at least a start on your boro journey!

  • 'All coloured out' - Using hand dyed materials, along with a special decolourant paste, stencils and printing blocks, learn how to create a unique fabric.  Once painted or printed onto fabric, left to dry and then heated by ironing, the decolourant paste discharges the colour from hand dyed fabric, revealing your lovely design.  The fabric you create can then be used in subsequent projects you may have in mind.

  • Cloth Doll Design and Creation  Day course based around a basic doll design that Ailish has created; that you can then embellish and clothe to your own specification.

  • Creative Sketchbooks Learn how to use fine art, mixed media and Textiles to create beautiful pages for your sketchbooks.

  • Felt making (various skill areas)  Nuno scarves, Cloche Hat designing and felting, Hand-Felted bags and Jewellery based around the medium of wool.

Other subjects are available on discussion, including a range of Fine Art and Print Making classes.  Please contact her for more information.

Testimonials

“Excellent tutor, fabulous workshop” (Anon. Student at The Knitting and Stitching Show, Harrogate 2018)

"Ailish is an inspiration.  My daughter is a bit younger than Ailish and not interested in Textiles or Art.  However hearing Ailish's talk 'From Stories to Stitch' has given me hope that she too may one day take up Art!  It is so refreshing to meet a young Artist".  (Alnwick Embroiders' Guild Member. 2015)

"Ailish gave us a graphic outline of her life, relevant to her artwork...She brought along her stitched cake, which is an amazing creation demonstrating all her many skills...intricate and inspirational".  (Report by Linda Pepper, Border Textile Group.  October 2015)

I just wanted to say thank you so much for Saturday.  Both Oona and I had a great day.  Also many thanks for talking to the bairn and sparing the time to look through her sketchbook -  after mixed advice from school, she took the plunge to go with her own instincts and do the work the way she wanted to,  but of course there is always the worry that she wasn’t doing it right.  So, as she said, having a professional artist say her work was good has given her the confidence to continue…look forward to your next workshop’ (Kay, Cumbria, 2019)