February meeting

It’s Fabergé for February as we welcome Geoffrey Munn who will be talking about Fabergé in the court of King Edward VII. Geoffrey Munn is a jewellery specialist, historian and writer, best known as a television presenter on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, where he has been a specialist contributor since 1989.

Some of his most notable discoveries include a Saxon gold ring found in the roots of a hedge. At the Black Country Museum in 2017 Geoffrey discovered a study of pear blossom by Carl Fabergé in enamelled gold set with diamonds that he valued at £1,000,000. This was one of only two or three similar discoveries in the entire history of the show. He has written extensively about antiques, including many articles about Gustav Faberge and the art of Fabergé.

The House of Fabergé is a jewellery firm founded in 1842 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, by Gustav Faberge, using the accented name Fabergé. The firm was famous for designing elaborate jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs for the Russian Tsars, and for a range of other work of high quality and intricate detail.

It’s a busy month for us as we will also be voting on next years resolution shortlist, do bring along your voting slip from WI Life. All the resolutions on the short list are on the campaigns page of the website and in the November/December issue of WI Life on page 24.

We will also be voting on how to use our profits from all our fundraising from last year.

And we will be collecting our usual donations of toiletries for Solace Women’s Aid.

Plus tea and cake, of course.

All our regular winter specialist interest groups are back check the website pages for more details.

 

 

In January we had a fantastic trip out to the world’s first bricks and mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas and gynaecological anatomy in Camden, to see their Muff Busters: Vagina Myths And How To Fight Them exhibition. If you weren’t able to join us do go along and visit The Vagina Museum at Unit 17 and 18 at The Stables Market, it is such an informative exhibition and it’s free. The exhibition is on until the end of March. Here’s some pictures from our jaunt.

 

January Meeting

 

Next month….

 

 

What a fantastic start to the year as we all explored the creativity and joy of mindful embroidery with Cordwainers Grow, who run community embroidery evenings every Monday at their base in Mare Street. We learnt how to embroider some lavender stems with two simple stitches and also heard how craft activities such as embroidery can have significant benefits in terms of mental health and our capacity to engage in mindfulness through activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge thanks to Debbie and Jacqui from Cordwainers Grow for leading us in the workshop.  Cordwainers Grow are a Hackney based community interest company focusing on connecting people with the natural world in creative and collaborative ways. They evolved out of Cordwainers Garden, a community growing space on land belonging to the London College of Fashion in Mare St. Wanting to make the link with what the staff and students were doing inside the college to the outside, in 2011 they started growing plants for dyeing and to make fibre. The garden closed in April 2019 but Cordwainers Grow continues and they champion community growing in the face of increased competition for space through their involvement with the Union Of Gardens.  We will continue to post information about upcoming events they are involved in on our Facebook page for those that are interested.

 

 

Throwing Pots

We had a fantastic hands on craft meeting in July when De Beauvoir artist, Marie Claire Porter  brought her potter’s wheel to our meeting.  Marie Claire began making ceramics in 2014.  Trained as a medical doctor and working in the field of neurology, she is drawn to making pieces that not only have form, but function, fulfilling the need to create something that was both practical and artistic.  She talked about her journey from neurology to potters wheel and demonstrated the art of throwing a pot.  A number of very brave members got to experiment with throwing their own pots and we all took up the opportunity to make a coil pot. Marie Claire kindly offered to fire our pots and we clearly have a number of budding potters amongst our members looking at the array of items to be taken away to the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fab Hatter

In April we had a fabulous time with J Smith Esquire, De Beauvoir’s new milliner, whose wonderful creations can be see through the windows of his establishment on Southgate Road.   Justin Smith graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in millinery after studying the discipline for 6 years. He started his own label, J Smith Esquire in 2007 following the critical acclaim of his  graduation show and since then, alongside designing his own collections, has also collaborated with high end fashion designers and created exquisite pieces for art installations and for television and film.

He brought a wonderful collection of his latest hats and we got the opportunity to try on some beautiful, high end millinery, thank you Justin for being so generous with your time and sharing your knowledge and your amazing hats with us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Working Artist

At our October meeting we enjoyed a fascinating talk by David Buckman on the work of the East London Group – a group of artists who developed from an art club at the Bethnal Green Men’s Institute and who achieved critical acclaim in the early half of the 20th century.  Their drawings and paintings show buildings, streets and ways of life that no longer exist.

There are 2 exhibitions currently taking place showing various works from the East London Group
At the Nunnery gallery in Bow until 17th December, and at Southampton City Art Gallery until early January 2018.