Sunday, 8 December 2013

Following the Threads...

An Exhibition for this week - and some lovely Christmas gifts as well as a stitchers and knitters treasure trove of goodies from our stashes...

The rail Station Car Park is the nearest - the West Barn is a short walk south along the river path
at the far end of the station car park

Monday, 2 December 2013


This exhibition is by a newly formed group of textile artists who came together through their MA studies at Bath Spa University.  It will be well worth seeing if you are in Bath.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Christmas berries and foliage

Christmas berries and foliage for our Christmas card this year - it has been a bumper season and explains why the birds have ignored the feeders until these recent frosts.

Friday, 8 November 2013


The newly formed textile group Quinary have had a very successful exhibition at the pop up gallery in Cirencester.

They want to thank Brunel Broderers for all our support.  They very much appreciated all the members that visited the exhibition.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Do look at our article in the Nov/Dec issue of Workbox magazine. It's all about our exhibition in Bridport last August

Friday, 25 October 2013

Frome Embroiderers Guild

On Saturday 12 October I went to Frome and District Embroiderers Guild as I had been asked to give a 'Talk' on the BB's. These Talks are an hour long with plenty of slides and an example of work from every member of the Group. 
I had a bit of a panic the night before as I as lost the lead that connects my laptop to my projector and spent literally all evening searching for it! Having woken in the night making a plan for what we would do instead of a Talk (which I started to look forward to!), I was lucky and found it in time - and we set off for Frome (my partner drove me there and spent a wonderful time in the record shop Raves from the Grave buying vinyl!) Frome is a buzzy place with a monthly Artisan Market and tempting shops for textile lovers on St Catherine's Hill
The Brunel Broderers held an Exhibition called 'Curiouser and Curiouser..' at The Silk Mill Studios in 2011 (for details and plenty of posts, click on Curiouser in the labels section at the bottom of the page) - the Silk Mill Studios were nominated for an English Heritage Angel Award just recently and now have the top 2 floors occupied by artist studios.
The Talk followed interest by the Guild, many of whom came to Curiouser including a lovely visit from their Young Embroiderers Group.
Thank you for a warm and happy time and such enthusiasm for a future BB exhibition somewhere in Frome at some stage.
I can't do any further Talks till next year, but if you are interested do please get in touch with us as another member of the Group has just offered to give Talks about our work.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

I have been drawing feathers so I used that as a theme for a printing workshop with Malmesbury Embroiderers Guild. (I am only taking a few local workshops now) We had a great day on the 5th with some lovely work produced on paper and on fabric. Printing seems to inspire confidence and we were busy all day. Thanks to the group for a marvelous shared lunch!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Continuing Research

After the success of our recent exhibition at Bridport, I am continuing to pursue my work on hand stitched folds.  I am trying out a few very small folds over just a couple of threads so that I can understand what impact this has on the surface of the cloth.


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Autumn has arrived with mists and mellow fruitfulness. The hedgerows are laden with berries and interesting seed pods. I can get back to some drawing because there is no exhibition deadline looming. ( sigh of relief and noise of sharpening pencils)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The end of the Strand ...

Another clip from the Opening Talk of Strand: Textiles with a Contemporary Twist at Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset
Polly Gifford - Arts Director, is discussing the reaction of an Arts Centre Volunteer who would normally find it difficult to relate to 'abstract' work - but, through familiarity with cloth, felt able to respond and engage with the work. (Deer Path, by Liz Harding)

Brunel Broderers2Bridport Strand from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo.
Excuse the shaky camera and slightly tricky sound! 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Images from the 'Strand' Private View
An interested audience

Linda's work

Carolyn's seagulls and shadows

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Last week at Bridport!

Strand - our BB Summer Show, is entering it's last week at Bridport Arts Centre! It finishes at 4pm next Saturday 14 September (closed Sunday and Monday), so do take a trip to the seaside later this week if you can - the Arts Centre, the town, the sea and countryside are SO inspiring and creative.
I have a film on show - and thought I would post a little series of clips to give a glimpse of it.
Do visit my blog too -

Strand clips - Susi Bancroft from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Polly Gifford - Arts Director, Bridport Arts Centre

We are now into our third week of the Strand exhibition here at Bridport Arts Centre and the show continues to interest, engage and impress gallery visitors.  As well as being a beautiful show, the work raises all sorts of questions, both directly through the themes explored by the artists, and indirectly by challenging the perception of what it is to be a ‘textile artist’.

This was one of the main themes of the conversation I had with Erica Steer, Director of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, on the opening day of the exhibition.  We explored the much-visited territory that seems to separate ‘craft’ from ‘fine art’, surrounded by work that clearly shows great ‘craftsmanship’ whilst also being ‘critically engaged’ in terms of its subject matter – all terms that are in themselves contentious.

We heard from many of the exhibiting artists, as well as other artists who were at the talk, about what terms they use to describe what they do.  The main position seemed to be that terms such as embroiderer and quilter had been dropped in favour of the broader terms ‘artist’ and ‘textile artist’, in large part because the other terms didn’t have the respect and regard that the work deserved, rather than a deliberate attempt to claim the right to title of ‘artist’ (although that was the motivation for some).

Its often tempting to say, lets not get too caught up in semantics and just get on with the business of making work.  This was the argument favoured by Erica on the issue of the name of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, a question greeted with wry smiles from many of the (all female) artists.  Certainly in practice, the Strand exhibition has utilised the accessibility of craft to introduce audiences to different issues and ways of working.  So does the terminology matter?  I can’t but think that at some level it does.  We are a culture dominated by language and therefore the words we use do carry weight and power.

But encouraging more people to see high quality work remains our priority and I want to thank the Brunel Broderers for putting together an exhibition that is doing just that.

Polly Gifford
Director, Bridport Arts Centre

Friday, 30 August 2013

Opening Events at Bridport Arts Centre

As part of the Opening of 'Strand' at Bridport Arts Centre, we invited Polly Gifford (Arts Director at BAC) and Erica Steer (Director of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen) to initiate an Open Conversation around contentious issues such as: the continuing art and craft debate, identities and perceptions of artists and makers, the strengths and stimulation of working in artist groups, and the current role of Galleries.
Here is a glimpse of the event - more to come!

Brunel Broderers Strand 2013 from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Pictures taken on Saturday at the exhibition.

Monday, 19 August 2013

setting up at Bridport

Last Thursday Alison, Susi and Liz took all the work to Bridport to set up the exhibition.
With the help of Bob the technician and Jenni Cadman, one of the visiting exhibitors the task was done, all completed by Friday afternoon in good time for the Private View.
Jenni and Bob hang Carolyn's birds.
Alison and coffee cups.
Hanging Lizzie's work.
And at the top of the stairs the Brunel Broderers tee-shirt!

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Strand at Bridport

Corrine says of her work:-
Stitch patterns are based on the measurements of ridges and stripes taken from shells etc. and I've tried to capture the subtle nuances in colour.  Pebbles, shells, sea glass and other items were collected from different beaches starting at Severn Beach near the lower Severn Bridge.  It has been really interesting to see how the range of items changes from beach to beach as one travels down the Severn Estuary.  For this exhibition pieces relate to our journey as far as Woolacombe in Devon though we have visited beaches and collected items down to Padstow so far and I want to progress this work further in the future.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Strand at Bridport

Details of Alison's work for Strand -

These are large pieces of work - visit the show to see them.

Strand at Bridport

Carla has been stitching the shroud for the Strand exhibition - these are some tempting images.  See the completed work at the show

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Needles turned to Bridport..

Nearly time.... the last BB Get Together tomorrow before we curate the Summer Show at Bridport!
Plans and preparations are underway, pieces tomorrow will be unveiled, then packed.
My film is made... this strand of stitching is drying gently in the breeze and waiting...

Thursday, 1 August 2013


This is a detail of the work of Jenni Cadman.  The finished work will be at the show.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Three more pieces for the Strand exhibition in Bridport. Difficult to stitch in this extreme hot weather and time ticking away to the deadline! I went to South Wales for our annual holiday and it was wonderful to have a hot seaside holiday. It provided more thought for stitching.

Monday, 22 July 2013


Jenni Cadman is the third of the artists joining us in our exhibition Strand.  This is her statement and she will be sending images later.

Jenni Cadman has been making textile art since 1992; her interests are dominated by exploring the landscape and the translation of the drawn and painted mark into fabrics and threads.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013


This is the work of Kate Dowty, an invited artist exhibiting in our Strand exhibition.  This work will be in the exhibition.

Monday, 15 July 2013


This is part of Carla's work for the Strand exhibition


A tempting sight of Carolyn's seagulls for the exhibition

Saturday, 13 July 2013


New work from Corinne for the Strand exhibition.  The work is transfer printed drawings from Corinne's sketchbook.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Guest Artist

Yvonne Morton is another guest artist for the Strand exhibition.  Yvonne says of her work:-

'Yvonne Morton's current work is influenced by the history of the Foundling Hospital, London. Founded in 1741, destitute mothers could leave their young babies in its care.  Few were re-united. Yvonne uses silk and flax fibres to make a fabric, enhanced with machine stitch.'

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


This post introduces one of our guest artists included in the Strand exhibition at Bridport.

Kate Dowty

Kate is a contemporary quilter using improvisational techniques to create colourful wall hangings with a very textural surface.  Recent work celebrates the landscape, the coastline and the colours of West Dorset.


Exploring ways of recording the strands of times spent happily walking along the shoreline.  The action of stitching like the ebb and flow of the tide.

Liz Hewitt's response to the title of Strand for the Bridport exhibition

Monday, 1 July 2013

an exciting step into uncertain places..

Last week I went off to Bridport and Lyme Regis with my wonderful cousin to concentrate on my work for 'Strand' ...
I stitched on the beach, photographed, and we filmed the work at the turn of the tide and at dusk.
Have a look at my artist page for my statement... more later as we build towards the Exhibition

Friday, 28 June 2013

Still thinking about the power of stitch in my work for 'Strand'

Look on my page for more thoughts

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Thinkings about Strand and images of my work in progress...

The threads of our lives weave and twist
Sometimes they flow, mesh and join together harmoniously and co-operatively, everything comes together
Sometimes they knot, they fray, they don't fit, clashing and tangled
However through all of that, at the centre of it is you, your thread, your journey.
You influence the threads around you and indeed your own, sometimes this is intentional and you are the weaver of your own threads, sometimes the threads are not in your control
This work is about my threads, where they all the individual strands weave together, sometimes.
Each piece is different, the red thread running through is key, this is the family thread, without it I would unravel.

I recently found some lost shoes washed up on the strandline of my favourite beach on the Roseland in Cornwall, they were asking me to work with them, thread and stitch are the beginnings of those threadings, they fit with my "Strand" work, the pieces converse and work...hopefully...

 These pieces have not been worked into yet, however they are the next pieces, the pocket I found in the Isles of Scilly, again a place of special significance to me, somewhere I truely feel I can breathe and be...I am not sure how this will finish...but am very excited by the outcome...