Every year, Hand & Lock organizes a competition for the prestigious Prize for Embroidery to promote the use of hand embroidery and to discover emerging embroidery talent. This year, sponsors added Textile Art categories to the traditional Fashion categories. The 2016 brief challenges participants to create quality design that consumers will cherish for years and that will stand the test of time.
On Thursday, November 3rd, London’s Bishopsgate Institute hosted the final of the 2016 Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery.
Today we’ll meet the third-place winner in the Textile Art Student Category.
Name: Sarah Jane Tickner
School: Graduate of the Arts University Bournemouth 2017
Describe your Hand & Lock entry:
A christening gown created based upon the idea of a family article being handed down from generation to generation, focusing in on the theme of ‘Love is’, specifically relating to my Christian faith and the ultimate love of God. I chose to depict some of my favourite Bible verses focusing on the attributes of something we all seek, love, by looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This talks about the many attributes of love, and Isaiah 53, which also appears on the garment, talks about the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus for all mankind on the cross.
What made you want to enter this competition?
I decided to pursue the brief as part of one of my university projects as I am passionate about embroidery and wanted to see how I could express both my strong christian beliefs and love of embroidery at the same time.
What motivated your choice for your entry?
My choice for the entry was motivated by the element of the brief that focused on family heirlooms as my faith is such an integral part of my life it is something I want to hand down and share to future generations of my family.
Are there any secrets you can now reveal about your entry?
The pattern that I used for the dress was created from an original christening gown that is an heirloom from my fiancee’s family and was worn by my future mother in law.
When and how did you learn embroidery, sewing, etc., and what impression did it make on you?
My love for embroidery bloomed at a young age through a school holiday club I used to attend where we would make different objects and items that included lots of embroidery and taught us different embroidery stitches and techniques.
My love for it grew further through doing A-level textiles at college which encouraged me to pursue a textiles course where I could develop and use my embroidery skills within my own work. Since then my love for it has grown through learning different techniques, including hand embellishment and also looking at and incorporating embroidery CAD technology within my own work.
What was your first embroidery, costume, or textile project?
My first proper textiles project was when I started A-level textiles and I did a project based on fairgrounds/carnivals. I did a series of embroidered photographs as part of my development work which sparked a love of using non-traditional media and working strongly with colour.
What made you want to study fashion and textiles in school?
I wanted to study fashion and textiles as I knew I was always creative and loved working with fabric and thread. I felt I could broaden my skills further by studying textiles and I thought it would be the kind of creative environment that would let my creative skills develop and flourish.
To date, what’s been your favorite course of study?
My favourite course of study to date was being taught to work with and use the Wilcom CAD embroidery software and experimenting with how this can be used in non conventional ways alongside my other work.
What non-embroidery skills do you bring to the table that you might like to combine with embroidery?
The non embroidery skills that I bring to my work include digital print and laser technology. I have combined these with traditional embroidery and CAD embroidery technology to create further dimensions to my work through its mixed media feel.
Describe your ideal career:
My ideal career would be working hand-on with embroidery, I particularly enjoy the embellishment side of bridal gowns and accessories but also love colour so would like to work with any exquisite embroidery garments and accessories.
What projects are on the horizon for you?
My current project is actually planning for my wedding, but I hope to be looking into creating my own accessories and embroideries in the near future.
Rapid-fire Round: (Don’t think too hard about these.)
Favorite embroidery or textile medium: I enjoy working with silks, sheer organzas but my favourite is perforated or laser cut leatherettes.
If you could work with just one color for the next three years, what would it be? Blue
What stitchable motif would you choose to represent you and your life? My stitchable motif would be the image of a cross as my faith in Jesus is what I try to ultimately focus my life on.
You are making lunch for the artist of your choice—and s/he will love it. Who is the artist, and what are you making for lunch? Yinka Shonibare is the artist, and for lunch I am making Brie and Cranberry bagels with grapes and crisps.
A studio is remaking a movie, and they want you to design the costumes. What is the movie, and what is your favorite costume in it? The movie is Pride and Prejudice and the costume is one of of the ballgowns for the famous ball scene.
You must include something edible in your next project. What do you use, and how do you incorporate it? Exquisitely wrapped up chocolates stitched together to create a chocolate mosaic.
If you were not an artist/designer, what would you be? If I was not an artist or designer I would be a baking Queen.
You must turn a song into a costume. What’s the song, and what’s the costume? If I were to pick a song for a costume it would be City of Stars from LA LA Land – the costume would be long elegant ballgown with a city landscape, created from embroidered stars with led lights sewn into it.
A place you’d like to visit: I’d like to visit Florence in Italy.
A celebrity wears something you’ve made to an awards show, and you receive fame, fortune, good health, fitness, and cake for life. Who is the celebrity and what does s/he wear? Miranda Hart wearing a red flamenco dress!
Jen Funk Weber is Queen of Funk & Weber Designs, a cross stitch and counted-thread embroidery designer and teacher dedicated to stitchy explorations and adventures.