Name of Talk: Opus Anglicanum: An exploration of Technique and Colour
Speakers: Dr Susan Kay-Williams and Liz Elvin
Date: 15 Dec 2016
Times: 18.30 - 20.00
Location: The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, The V&A, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
Directions: The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Threatre is accessed from the Secretariat Gate on Cromwell Road.
The evening will give attendees a fantastic and rare insight into the practice of embroidery from the middle ages and which techniques and practices are still used today.
Dr Susan Kay-Williams is the Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework and her particular research interest is in the history of dyes in textiles. Her book The Story of Colour in Textiles was published in 2013. She has lectured extensively in the UK where she is a NADFAS accredited lecturer and has been invited to lecture in the USA, Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan and Germany. Her special V&A talk, ‘Material colour in the age of Opus Anglicanum’ will explore the use of colours used in the middle ages and the differences in the colours that could be achieved by the painter in the Medieval period and those available to the dyer and weaver. The talk will look at some of those colour challenges and limitations and explore the making of the colours that we see in the Opus Anglicanum pieces.
Our second speaker Elizabeth Elvin is a former Principal of the Royal School of Needlework who since retiring has continued to teach embroidery skills in Cairo, Nairobi and herein the UK. She has lectured here in the UK and the USA and is a judge for the Beryl Dean Teaching Award. Her talk focuses on the techniques and materials used in the Opus Anglicanum embroideries and details the fascinating history of the manufacture and procurement of the fine gold bullions used. She will explain the techniques employed in the pieces and how the techniques best complemented the precious materials to create the beautiful finish that we can still appreciate hundreds of years later.