garthenor talks series


enjoy talks from craft experts

Garthenor Organic logo - a pair of sheep shears and the words Garthenor Organic underneath

Unravel is a community craft experience that celebrates all things yarn and yarn making. With all kinds of creativity to inspire makers from our curated marketplace to workshops we also have talks with craft experts as part of our Garthenor Talks Series.

Take a break from the festival to hear from designers, makers and other craft experts about the projects they're passionate about. Talks with our craft experts take place in the long kiln gallery.

Generously sponsored by Garthenor Organic.

South East England Fibreshed with Isabella Goggin
Fri 24 February, 2pm-3pm

This talk will explore the founding principles of Fibreshed and the development of its affiliates in England and the devolved nations to date. Looking at the concept of soil to soil textiles and the steps being taken to work towards creating regional regenerative textile systems. It will explore farming for fibre and dye; the obstacles and opportunities we face in building localised textile economies. Isabella Goggin has taken the journey from fashion to farming; as a designer and maker in womenswear the ethical dilemmas of the global garment industry led her to seek solutions through land connection. Isabella spent four months volunteering at Plaw Hatch, a biodynamic farm and home to the first South East England Fibreshed flock.

YARNING: Stories from Birmingham with Sara Fowles
Sat 25 February, 11am-12pm

Knitter and textile artist Sara Fowles was commissioned by Craftspace to collect stories on the heritage of yarn, knit and textiles from within Birmingham’s Black community.

They include her own story of her relationship to knit and yarn; family memories; how she learnt the skills; what knitting means to her and how it became a passion and obsession in her life and work.

She will talk about her yarn journey and what she learnt from women who took part in her podcast series as well as debunking some myths that ‘black women don’t knit'.

Natural Dyeing Demonstration with Liz Baltesz
Sat 25 February, 11am-12.30pm

Liz Baltesz will walk us through each step of the natural dyeing process. There will be a long table in the middle of the room, set up to demonstrate each stage as follows...
How to prepare a skein for dyeing
Extracting dye from onion skins
Dyeing with onion skins in a slow cooker
Shifting colours with modifiers
Finishing yarn

Liz will also have lots of projects made using natural dyes to admire.

Roman Women, Spinning, and Wool with Carey Fleiner
Sat 25 February, 12.30pm-1.30pm

Join Carey Fleiner, Senior Lecturer in Classical (Roman) History, as she takes us through the connections between women's work, character, spinning and wool in the Roman period. Framed around the work of a 1stcentury AD Roman woman called Turia, we'll discuss how Turia would have learned to spin, the tools she used, and the importance of sheep and wool in Roman culture.

Crafting a Community with Sue Maton of The Mercerie
Sat 25 February, 2pm-3pm

Sue will talk about how she grew her online crochet community during and after COVID - to showcase some of the work generated and really emphasise the importance of being part of a crafting community.

Shetland Lace with Elizabeth Williamson
Sun 26 February, 2pm-3pm

A live talk by Elizabeth Williamson followed by a questions and answer session.

Elizabeth will talk about Shetland lace knitting and the Shetland Hap. In Shetland dialect a hap is a shawl, these have been knitted for centuries in the islands. They are used for every day wear, weddings and also christenings.

She will be showing examples of her work and haps.