All over the country, people have been coming together to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War. Along with Church services, reenactments and flyovers there have been some beautiful and engaging works of art springing up for the public to enjoy and think about. One such project is an art installation at the Tower of London by Paul Cummins called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’. Using the iconic poppy, the installation consists of thousands of ceramic poppies which sweep across the dry moat of the historic building. Over the summer, more poppies are added to the piece which will eventually burst over the walls and out the windows as well as across the ground until their number reaches 888,246 poppies on the 11th November which representing all the British or colonial military fatalities in the war. After 11/11/14 the poppies will be sold off individually for £25 each to raise money for charity.
The poppy was first used after the First World War when an american academic, Moina Michael was inspired by McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ to make red silk poppies for Decoration Day. The British Legion first started selling poppies in 1921 with an initial order of 9 million poppies which were sold on the 11th November 1921 raising £106,000. Following the first years success they set up factory on the Old Kent Road in London where five disabled ex-Servicemen began making poppies. 3 years later the Poppy Factory moved to its current site in Richmond, Surrey and today produces millions of poppies each year.
In honour of this, The London Embroidery School is hosting an adaptation of the silk flower making class for poppies. 50% of the profit from the class will be going to be British Legion’s Poppy Appeal so we would love if you could help us to raise some money for them. The class will be taking place on the 29th October in our Islington studio from 6.30-8.30pm. Click here to book your place, spaces will be limited as all our classes are quite intimate.
Claire Barrett is an embroidery designer who has been working in the embroidery industry for six years. A former Creative Director at Hand & Lock, Claire runs Hawthorne & Heaney, dealing with celebrity clients such as Kanye West and high profile companies such as Henry Poole & Company Savile Row tailors. Claire is passionate about making embroidery accessible to everyone by offering sponsorships to young designers and even running the London Embroidery School to teach beginners classes to those who are interested in getting a taste of what embroidery has to offer.