A threaded walk in the Land of Oak & Iron
Rowlands Gill Primary Crafts Group began with a banner … in 2012, Rowlands Gill Primary PTA asked a small group of school volunteers to produce a banner for the school hall to celebrate the community. The project was so enjoyable that the volunteers decided to continue meeting and making things together as a means of fundraising for the school, whilst also involving the school children in extracurricular arts and crafts projects.
After completing several large wall hangings for the school, the group then turned their attention to creating another bespoke piece of textile artwork, this time taking inspiration from the Land of Oak & Iron and the genuine sense of pride in the local cultural and industrial heritage of the area.
The group wanted a theme that the children could relate to, so ‘A Walk in the Land of Oak & Iron’ was chosen as the title, with the illustrations based on the familiar surroundings of the Derwent Walk.
Constructing the banner began by painting the background on heavy cotton using silk paints to suggest the path, sky and greenery of the Derwent Walk. Trees were then added by using direct printing from leaves and ferns.
Silver Birch trees were created by ‘dragging’ and printing with acrylic paint onto fabric to form the trunks which were then cut out, appliqued on and finally embroidered.
Oak leaves were printed onto fabric, quilted and machine stitched, along with details such as flowers. bugs and birds which were all delicately hand embroidered. Photographic transfers onto fabric were produced in areas where more detailed imagery was required.
The borders on the banner have been kept to a limited sepia palette to suggest the historical aspects of the area, with cultural history on the top border and industrial history on the bottom.
Most importantly, the school children produced lots of wonderful drawings inspired by the flora, fauna and nature that they discovered on walks along the Derwent Walk and in the Land of Oak & Iron. These drawings have been carefully translated into beautifully printed, embroidered and appliqued details across the banner.
This wonderful piece of artwork will be on display in the Heritage Centre later in the year when it re-opens. Look out for dates and further details on our website and social media pages.
Thank you to Katherine Rodger and Rowlands Gill Primary Crafts Group for the photographs.