Every year, Selvedge hosts several all-inclusive residential craft workshops at Chateau Dumas, a private estate with 18th-century interiors, a large pool and glorious panoramic views - set amongst rolling hills in the peaceful, scenic countryside less than an hour north of Toulouse international airport. Owned and run by Lizzie Hulme, the Chateau is a place where you can relax, unwind and be truly creative.
Jessica Edney has interviewed next year's Chateau Dumas tutors. Today she speaks to Lora Avedian who will be teaching Two and Three Dimensional Fabric Flower-making in August 2019.
How would you describe your art?
My work as a textile artist uses traditional embroidery techniques as a way to translate my drawings from visual research into stitch. I often look at historical textiles and ethnographic objects as a starting point, which enables me to find a balance between the old and the new.
When did you first learn how to embroider?
I started doing embroidery when I was a teenager, I think my mum was the one who got me interested in it in the first place. I seem to always go back to it and have been trying out new ways of using it to make work ever since.
Why do you think it is important to use mainly slow processes in your work?
I am naturally drawn to quite repetitive and laborious techniques. I think it can be worth creating work which is time-consuming, not just because of the finished outcome, but for the making process itself which I find quite therapeutic. Thinking through making is often a really underestimated part of designing, that’s something I discovered when I was studying at the RCA.
How do you go about beginning a new piece?
I often start with drawings and research which is a basis for most of my work. From there I get together a colour palette and materials I want to work with, combinations of colours and materials are really important to me.
Why do you think it is important to have a grounding in traditional textile techniques?
I always refer to my collection of antique textiles as a reference for my work, I think it’s really important to have a base craft to start from, whatever it is. I often use simple embroidery techniques but try to challenge them by using different materials than the norm and make them my own.
What will you be teaching at Chateau Dumas?
I will be teaching how to construct 3D textile flowers on stems. Amongst other things, the students will come away with learning how to create paint effects on fabric with dyes for the petals, and embroidery techniques for the centres.
To find out more about Chateau Dumas and available courses, please visit www.selvedge.org/collections/workshops-at-chateau-dumas