The Joy is in the Making
From Saturday 29 May - Sunday 31 October 2021, 10am - 4.30pm
Well known makers demonstrate their creative craft in this stunning new exhibition featuring The Great Pottery Throw Down judge and ceramicist Keith Brymer Jones, world-renowned knitting, needlepoint and patchwork expert Kaffe Fassett, embroidery artist Niamh Wimperis who was recently seen on The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts, internationally exhibited textile artist Mr X Stitch, plus well-known presenter turned photographer, Edith Bowman.
The ‘Joy is in the Making’ is a series of interventions looking behind-the-scenes of the crafter, sharing not only their masterful works, but also the inspirations, emotions and deep sense of wellbeing that comes with the creative process. Much more than just a window into the lives and minds of creatives, these makers want to share their joy - igniting a curiosity and extending an invitation for all to take a break from our daily buzz of phones and laptops and have a go at crafting.
Many people know him as a judge on TV shows like The Great Pottery Throw Down & The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts but his ‘real job’, and passion, is ceramics.
" Is there a strong link between doing something creative and emotions? I would say that was the definition of creativity. It’s not even a strong link. They run together."
Taking inspiration from Standen's Arts and Crafts Dining Room and the collection within, Keith is throwing a bespoke 16-piece dinner service for the Dining Room at Standen which will be on display for the duration of the exhibition. Keith is filming the process of himself handmaking the dinner set, recording the way that he feels during the process.
Kaffe Fassett has dedicated the last 50 years of his life to the world of knitting, needlepoint and patchwork, promoting these crafts through his own work and encouraging others to find their own creativity. He has produced over 30 publications from ‘how to books’, to colour in design, and tours internationally giving workshops, lectures and museum exhibitions.
Surrounded by a selection of his quilts and his half-finished knitting projects, visitors are welcomed in to Kaffe’s work room recreated in the Morning Room. To the iconic sounds of Radio Four, here Kaffe shares the joy he gets from knitting, quilting and experimenting with colour.
" I would happily be sitting listening to Radio 4, knitting away or sewing a patchwork or whatever for the rest of time."
In a recreation of his design studio visitors can have a go at ‘quilting with Kaffe’. In an especially commissioned short film, Kaffe shows visitors how he uses his quilting wall to create his patterns. As well as taking visitors through the creation of two patterns, Kaffe encourages visitors to create their own using the specially created quilting wall set up in the Cook’s Store in the Servants Wing.
Niamh Lily Wimperis is one of the most colourful and dynamic embroidery artists currently practicing. Her work has evolved from ultra political to this more calming botanical style, but her feminist pieces have been featured in Ms Magazine, Buzzfeed and The Huff Post.
In 2018 Niamh was chosen to be on the BBC2 programme The Victorian House of Arts and Crafts, a "living history" reality show..Niamh has created a large piece of embroidery art specifically for the Drawing Room at Standen. Taking inspiration from the original Morris & Co. ‘sunflower’ wallpaper the canvas for her piece entitled ‘you complete me’ will be hung in the room. Through the use of projections, Niamh explains how William Morris being so important in embroidery being seen as art led her to use original Morris & Co wallpaper as the canvas for her piece and how the process of embroidery continues to help her deal with anxiety and give her a true sense of calm.
Mr X Stich
Jamie “Mr X Stitch” Chalmers is one of the world’s most well-known male embroiderers, an internationally exhibited textile artist and curator. His fresh and sometimes subversive work proves that this humble craft is alive and kicking and not limited to images of cute kittens and country cottages.
In a powerful video, Jamie tells the story of two of his cross stitch pieces ‘anger’ and ‘denial’ which are on display in the Billiard Room.
" Anger and denial are the first two parts of a short series of hand embroideries that I made in 2016. I started stitching them as a sort of therapy to help me process something that had happened. My wife and I had been struggling to start a family and I discovered that I was infertile. It had been a really big blow, something really hard for me to deal with."
He used stitching as a form of therapy and started stitching the five stages of grief; denial, anger, negotiation, depression and acceptance. The first two pieces are ones that he completed. And after that "I kinda felt ok. So I didn’t really do the other ones".
Edith Bowman is renowned for her work within radio and television; whether hosting, reviewing, or interviewing. With her access-all-areas pass, she's mastered the art of taking photos which capture the festival fever. Edith finds the process of photography makes her feel ‘happy, excited and taller’.
In a series of specially selected photographs and hand-crafted letters, broadcaster Edith Bowman shares the joy she gains through creativity with photography and encourages visitors to give it a go. In a world where she is constantly being told to ‘Hurry up mum’ Edith finds photography gives her the time to take breath and be present in the moment.
" You are making a memory, you are capturing that memory and the great thing is anyone can do it, you just have to try."