Susan Weeks interviews Karen Nicol & Hannah Maughan

Jan 20th / 7 – 8.30 p.m. / Online Event

Listen to Karen and Hannah talk and exchange views with Susan Weeks about the similarities and differences of their experience of teaching textiles; their careers; sustainability in fashion; what continues to inspire and interest them and how their individual approach to embroidery has evolved.

Karen Nicol

Karen Nicol is a London based mixed media and embroidery textile designer/artist working in fashion, interiors and gallery.

Karen has created concepts and designs for embroidered textiles for ready-to-wear and couture fashion. Working with many fashion design houses including Schiaparelli, Alexander McQueen, Jasper Conran and Giles Deacon .

Karen has designed and produced interior textiles for clients including the King of Qatar, the Pope, Estee Lauder and Gwyneth Paltrow. Also creating own label collections of home pieces for companies including Anthropologie, Pottery Barn and Designers Guild.

Since 2010 Nicol’s large embroidered, painted and sculpted art pieces have been exhibited and sold in galleries and art fairs all over the world with solo shows in London, Paris and New York.

Karen was founder, senior lecturer and visiting professor of the Mixed Media MA
course at the Royal College of Art, London.

In 2015 Karen was made an RDI, a Royal Designer for Industry, one of only 200 in the world.

Polar Bear by Karen Nicol

Hannah Maughan

Hannah studied at Birmingham and the Royal College of Art, specialising in embroidery and mixed media.

As a freelance designer, Hannah worked on commissions ranging from couture to commercial, producing work for leading international fashion and interior companies including Christian Lacroix, United Arrows and English Eccentrics.

Represented by View Studio in London, Hannah continues to produce seasonal collections of commercial designs for clients such as Michael Kors, Vera Wang, Gap and Calvin Klein.

Since joining Falmouth in 2003 Hannah has worked as senior lecturer on the BA(Hons) Textile Design, establishing the mixed media area. This focuses on the traditions and values of hand embroidery, machine and digital stitch, fabric manipulation and surface embellishment, with the emphasis on technical acumen and encouraging a personal and an innovative response to contemporise the discipline.

Hannah has been recognised for making an outstanding contribution to embroidery education, winning the 2016 Embroiderers’ Guild Beryl Dean Award for Teaching Excellence.

In 2011 Hannah received the Falmouth Teaching Excellence Award for her overall engagement and commitment to her subject area and students.

By Hannah Maughan

Susan Weeks interviews Mandy Pattullo and Claire Wellesley-Smith

Feb 24th / 7 – 8.30 p.m. / Online Event

Claire and Mandy will discuss how to use stitch to promote wellbeing, their use of pre-loved fabrics, possibly also touching on folk tales in stitch if time allows.

Mandy Pattullo

Mandy Pattullo is an artist based in Northumberland in the North of England. She makes garments, textile collages and fabric books which often incorporate antique textiles. For many years this has included fragments of old patchwork and quilts.

Mandy sometimes works directly on to the surface of the quilt with embroidery and applique or she unpicks old quilts to find the layers hidden inside. These form a palette of materials which evidence the ghost stitches of previous makers.

Mandy’s pieces bring together precious fragments to form evocative compositions. The viewer is forced to re-examine fabrics that have become flawed through wear and tear, to find in them a new beauty.

Mandy Pattullo

Claire Wellesley-Smith

Claire Wellesley-Smith is an artist, writer and researcher based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. She specialises in projects that use local, natural colour, created from home-grown and locally foraged plants on reclaimed materials. Cloth, dye and stitch are used as carriers of the natural and social history of place.

Long term socially-engaged projects are a key part of Claire’s practice. These community-based engagements explore the ways that place, heritage and memory can connect people to their surrounding environments.

Her two books Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art (2015) and Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art (2021) are published by Batsford.

Claire Wellesley-Smith

Susan Weeks interviews Vanessa Marr and Sarah Corbett

Mar 17th / 7 – 8.30 p.m. / Online Event

Vanessa Marr and Sarah Corbett will be talking with Susan Weeks about how they use textiles to ‘make a point’ – both are creative ‘activists’ so this should be an interesting discussion!

Vanessa Marr

Vanessa is an artist, academic and designer based in East Sussex, England. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and is currently Principal Lecturer and Course Leader at the University of Brighton.

Her work is underpinned by visual design-theory and process, yet embraces an intuitive and physical approach that facilitates self-authorship, which she explores predominantly through hand-stitch and creative writing.

She is drawn to cloth as a medium that holds the legacy of so-called women’s work and its potential for subversion and quiet activism.

She is best known for her hand embroidered dusting cloths, which form part of an ongoing collaborative arts project ‘Women & Domesticity – What’s your Perspective?’ that invites embroidered statements on this theme.

Her work has been exhibited and presented widely in academic, community and arts contexts in the UK. Vanessa regularly participates in collaborative, creative and research projects, and never stops learning, making and writing.

Vanessa Marr – Designer, Lecturer, Maker

By Vanessa Marr

Sarah Corbett

Sarah Corbett is an award-winning activist, author and Ashoka Fellow. She grew up in Everton: a low-income area of the UK into an activist family and has worked as a professional campaigner for over a decade, most recently with Oxfam GB.

Corbett set up the global Craftivist Collective in 2009 providing craftivism (craft + activism) products, books and services for individuals, groups and organisations to use her unique ‘Gentle Protest’ methodology which has helped change hearts, minds, business policies and government laws around the world.

Corbett’s Talk ‘Activism Needs Introverts’ has been viewed over one million times on

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By Sarah Corbett. Image by Craftivist Collective