Everyone’s work was displayed beautifully at the event and there were so many absolutely stunning examples of hand embroidery on show. I have included some photos from the evening and a couple of close ups of my final garment below. If you would like to see all the photos of my embroidery development samples for this project head over to the gallery section.
The theme of the 2017 Prize was ‘Celebration’. My embroidery designs celebrated threatened and endangered animals and insects, eventually solely focusing on bees. Recently a lot of attention has been placed on the decline of bees which have become increasingly threatened by human acitivity. I decided to make my final garment a celebration of bees and drew inspiration from a bee keepers suit. I used goldwork and Swarovski crystals to embroider a swarm of bees around the jumpsuit. The bees are sewn on to tulle as if they are caught in a bee keepers veil and the honeycomb belt represents the hive where the queen bee, embroidered with purple gemstones, is surrounded by worker bees. The jumpsuit is made from four layers of organza hand dyed in different honey tones. This is embroidered using tambour cutwork stitch with sections cut away to expose the different honey colours. Sections of the honeycomb are tambour beaded with pearls and glass beads. The jumpsuit is accompanied by a wide brimmed hat which features a honeycomb pattern embroidered with beads and goldwork threads. An eye mask (here worn as a choker) also features honeycomb embroidery.