Over the last few weeks we have received hundreds of applications to The Joan Harrison Creative Bursary scheme. The scheme was set up to provide valuable study opportunities for those wishing to study our accredited textile courses. It was named after a very dear friend and colleague who sadly passed away in 2015.
Our tutors have had the very difficult job of shortlisting the applications and we’re pleased to say we have our finalists.
Now, we need your help to find the winners. Please vote* for your favourite piece. You’ll only be able to vote for one piece but the four finalists with the highest number of votes will be awarded with a bursary place. Good luck everyone and thank you to everyone who applied.
*The poll has now closed. Take a look at our Bursary Winners 2023.
Applying to study Crochet, Ali told us that she has always loved wool and enjoys knitting and crocheting.
“I want to do the course to give me more skills and have more finesse with the art. I crochet every day- it’s now an obsession. I’ve just completed a level 5 managerial course for my 9-5 job. I found this is not my passion but I am always determined to finish everything I start. I would love the opportunity to study something that fires my soul.”
Alison is applying to study Felt Making. Having retired, much of her time is taken up by creating various craft projects. Now she is looking to study with us to better understand the craft to achieve better results.
“My motivation is more awareness and understanding of a craft…. Wet felting. I would like to think the course itself will be the challenge, I know that I will focus on the course and give it my very best shot.”
Applying to study Knitting, Carol currently works in a contemporary art gallery. While it’s a constant source of inspiration for her, she regrets never pursuing her creativity academically.
“I feel my life is at a turning point like never before. This (mostly) feels exciting! The SST course would naturally be challenging in terms of skill/ability/time, but I feel I need and am ready to embrace this challenge.”
Applying to study Textiles, Deborah has previously borrowed books from the library and learnt from online groups about textiles and making marks on fabric. She likes to use reclaimed and recycled materials and enjoys eco printing and dyeing, and other sustainable practices.
“I do find my textile practice very mindful and I am eager and committed to learning more. This course would give me a structure to my learning and give me the opportunity to be part of a community of like minded students. I am extremely motivated as I have developed a passion for growth and feel that is my time to do something for me. I am eager to increase my knowledge and learn new techniques.”
Lucy hopes that by completing the course she will be able to teach and run workshops for children and adults with an emphasis on meditative slow stitch and textile art.
“Expressing myself creatively and the therapeutic nature of stitch has been a great support in processing the identity shift of becoming a mother and also periods of grief and anxiety in my life. I believe that everyone benefits from a creative outlet and learning handwork skills and I love to share this joy with others.”
Although Lynda has previously used her skills to support initiatives like Caerphilly Scrubbers and The Cats Protection she feels that she isn’t quite at the stage where she could professionally sell her art.
“The course would give me a focus and an aim. I already have the motivation to produce textile art and knowing that I would learn new techniques and improve my skills would only increase that motivation. I think the course would increase my confidence and encourage me to get my work out there. I will continue to sew for charity but I would also like to explore more experimental work. I love projects and deadlines, and completing the course would not be a challenge to me.”
Subject: Hand Embroidery
Having joined an embroidery group at her local library which is run by a couple of women who are City and Guilds qualified, she hopes to be able to develop her focus and direction whilst broadening her knowledge through the study of significant experienced artists.
“Having a known and recognised qualification would help in my searches for future employment in textile art. It will empower me with confidence in myself and my abilities, and would also open doors to educational and developmental opportunities currently out of reach. Seeing myself as a work in progress is central to my current thinking and I am mindful of how I might use past experiences to forge a new future.”
Rachel has been involved in voluntary community artisan and heritage activities. She would like to use this course to help her on her way to self employment and continue to combine and develop her textile skills in the heritage work she does.
“I would like to develop the confidence to create my own designs and gain a deeper understanding of combining techniques. I believe this course would help me do that. I am very motivated as I want to develop a career that plays to my skills.”
Subject: Hand Embroidery
Samantha is applying to study Hand Embroidery and told us that stitching has always been her mainstay and focus. She feels that our course would build her skills and knowledge and give her the confidence boost she needs to put herself out there.
“I want to try and build something from this. I want to learn more and challenge myself in order to take the skills to another level and make my mark in the industry.”