Textile artist Laura Lees ‘In Stitches’ online sewing project proved so popular during lockdown that we couldn’t wait to explore more ways of making with her when we returned to The Glasshouses at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. Now know as ‘Common Thread’ workshops started up in July taking wannabe makers and skilled sewers on a new in-person creative journey.
When restrictions permitted the workshops were also taken into the Rehab Art Room located in the Andrew Duncan Clinic to work alongside the Occupational Therapy Team with individual patients attending the group from the Rehabilitation wards.
Beginning with embroidery thread and felt, individual birds were produced which could be hung together into a mobile, that now takes pride of place in the Rehab Art Room.
One of the big hits so far has been experimenting with weaving plastic. Working with recycled materials, a huge tarpaulin donated artist Sharon Averbuch (check out the photos of the tarps at their original home in Australia below!) Laura deconstructed the tarps, experimenting and creating wonderful large-scale, colourful woven pieces. No needles required, no fraying fabric, just many hands excited by the freedom of this way of working and instant dramatic effect.
The plastic weavings have truly transformed the fence surrounding The Glasshouses and are a sign of more exciting things to come through the Laura Lees workshops and the Common Thread Project at the Royal Edinburgh.