Embroidery Mentorship Programme

Meet the mentors

The Hand & Lock Embroidery Mentorship Programme was introduced in 2013 to provide the selected finalists an opportunity to work closely with an industry expert and develop their designs. Each finalist has a few weeks to perfect their design with expert help in the run up to the final stage of the Prize: the live judging at the Prize-giving.


Previous mentors include designers Zandra Rhodes, Ed Marler and Amy Betts, editor of Selvedge magazine Polly Leonard and textile artists Alice Kettle, Sam Roddick and Diana Springall.  In previous years many finalists have gone on to forge close personal and professional relationships with their mentors; receiving career guidance as well as help and support through the Prize process.

This year’s mentors have an invaluable wealth of expert, industry knowledge and experience across fashion, textiles, art and design.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor please get in touch at prize@handembroidery.com.

Diana Springall

Website: dianaspringallcollection.co.uk

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Diana Springall is one of Britain’s best known textile artists. Her 60 year career in textiles includes appointments as a panel lecturer at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and chairman of both the Embroiderers’ Guild and the Society of Designer Craftsmen. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Broderers and her work can be found in many private and public collections. Diana is heavily involved with embroidery within both education and museums/collections. She has been instrumental in promoting embroidery in the Fine Art world, and has been a teacher and mentor to a significant proportion of today’s greatest artists working in stitch, including Alice Kettle.


Richard McVetis graduated in Constructed Textiles from the Royal College of Art in 2008. Since completing his BA in Embroidery at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005, he has been short-listed for several distinguished prizes, including the Jerwood Drawing Prize, UK, 2011 and 2017; and the international Loewe Craft Prize, 2018. In addition, McVetis has shown work nationally and internationally at several exhibitions, including The British Textile Biennial, Rossendale, UK, 2021; RENEW at Kettles Yard, UK, 2019; Loewe Craft Prize, The Design Museum, London, UK, 2018; Collect Open, Saatchi Gallery, UK, 2017; ‘Form + Motion’ – a major exhibition with British Council and Crafts Council for the Cheongju Craft Biennale, South Korea, 2017. Recent collaborations include commissions for fashion and lifestyle brands COS and TOAST.

Richard McVetis is preoccupied with the repetitive nature of process. For over a decade he has used hand embroidery to explore the subtle differences that emerge through ritualistic and habitual making. The inscribed stitches mark the rhythms of the hand, a delicate performance of obsessive intricacy. Meticulously stitched multiples of dots, lines and crosses record time and map space. Each stitch is an embodiment of thought and patience; a record of human presence, of time and decay. McVetis uses making to understand the world, to give material form to abstract ideas, making the intangible tangible. These physical, tactile, and repetitive modes of creation allow him the time to see and think, to occupy a space.



Sam D’Cruze

Website: https://www.samdcruze.com/

Instagram: @sam_dcruze

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Sam D’Cruze is a textile artist and designer who, after graduating from Central St Martins with a BA(Hons) in womenswear, has worked in the creative industry for over twenty years. A passionate creative who has worked with established brands and designers, she launched Darkest Star, an edgy design house dedicated to slow fashion, 10 years ago. The ever-evolving label regularly appeared in the pages of Schön, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Elle and dressing the likes of Gigi & Bella Hadid, Camila Cabello and Mary J Blige.

Due to her father’s death, who sadly struggled with alcoholism, Sam has launched an art project called ‘Child Of’, aimed at breaking the cycle of addiction in a creative and contemporary way through storytelling. Creating artworks that explore the shared experience of adults touched by addiction, some pieces are hard-hitting and poignant, whilst others have an element of fun celebrating life and resilience. Sam’s practice is centred around Tambour beading and ‘freestyle, punk embroidery’. Her double-sided embroideries are both unique and thought-provoking, playing with shadows and reflection. Child Of was launched at the Saatchi Gallery in partnership with Saatchi Education and Learning Department in December 2021 with a month-long exhibition.


Olga Prinku is an embroidery artist who uses real organic material as her thread. Olga created the concept of flowers on tulle embroidery in 2016, and her first book – Dried Flower Embroidery: An Introduction to the Art of Flowers on Tulle – was published by Quadrille in 2021. She uses various techniques to attach natural materials such as dried and preserved flowers, foliage, grasses, seed heads and berries to tulle fabric.

Olga’s artworks have been displayed at the Stitch Festival in London, the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth and the Aga Khan Centre Gallery in London, as part of a multi-sensory exhibition, Making Paradise. She has collaborated with brands such as 3PARADIS on clothing, Anthropologie on homewares and Swarovski on catalogue styling. In 2021 she was a guest judge on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on UK’s Channel 4 TV. 

Olga lives in North Yorkshire, where she takes inspiration from nature on long walks in the local countryside. Much of her work also draws on traditional folkloric motifs of her home country, the Republic of Moldova. Before becoming an embroidery artist Olga worked in graphic design, and has a degree in the subject from the University of Cumbria.

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Chloe Amy Avery grew up in South London before moving to the East End and beginning her studies at the London College of Fashion at the age of 16.  She left LCF with a Masters Degree in surface textiles for fashion.  This birthed her love of textiles and thread. Since then she has married, had children, spent several years overseas and via a few creative avenues, built her practice as an embroidery artist.

Chloe hand embroiders large scale, intricately detailed art-work as well as wearable pieces.  Her style is hyper-realistic impressionism, using food and nostalgia as the inspiration for her work.  Food carries memory and culture.  It tells our stories.

At first glance Chloe’s work could be mistaken for paint.  But the atypical medium and texture of thread forces the viewer to question what they see.

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Sorrell Kerrison is a Welsh textile and embroidery artist who resides in Liverpool, UK. She is most known for her expressive, fauvist style complex hand embroidered portraiture. Four of her portraits are housed in the public collection at Bolton Museum in Greater Manchester and are part of the UK heritage archive. She is currently advocating for zero waste and cyclical textile usage as well as starting a sustainable textile brand; ‘Good Luck Workshop’. Sorrell won the 1st prize in the 2020 Hand & Lock Open Art category and looks forward to mentoring the next potential winner.

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Justine Bonenfant is a London-based embellishment designer and embroidery artisan. Through her work, she likes to experiment with timeless techniques such as luneville, goldwork and silkshading, which she then translates into contemporary designs. Originally from the north of France, a region with a rich textile heritage, she has always been fascinated by craftsmanship and intricate handmade work. After a degree in fashion design at Esmod International, she assisted designers in Marrakech and London. Whilst doing fabric research in Milan and Paris, Justine met highly skilled artisans who inspired and furthered her love for handcrafted textiles. She improved her technical knowledge in hand embroidery at the prestigious Lesage School in Paris, attending haute couture and interior design professional training.

Justine has worked for luxury design houses including Ralph & Russo, Alexander McQueen and Jasper Conran, and in 2020 set up Clo de Vila, offering detailed accessories designed in London and hand-embroidered in India by highly-skilled artisans. She also teaches hand embroidery at Hand & Lock and is a Guest Lecturer at The Royal School of Needlework.

Elizabeth Ashdown

Elizabeth Ashdown MA RCA is an artist based in South East England. She creates contemporary, hand woven artworks using the endangered craft of Passementerie. Only one of a few hand Passementerie weavers working in the UK today, Elizabeth combines traditional craft skills with a contemporary aesthetic in order to create intriguing and playful art works.

Intricate weaving techniques are combined with an energetic use of colour, pattern and material combinations to create one-off and bespoke artworks, both large and small. Elizabeth’s process is labour-intensive yet playful and intuitive. Every part of her work is created by hand – from carefully dyeing silk yarns in vibrant colours, to spinning cords and weaving.

Elizabeth’s work can be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the UK and abroad. She has produced exclusive handmade artworks for clients such as Liberty, the Clothworkers’ Company, Cassamance and Camira Fabrics, as well as undertaking bespoke commissions for private clients. Elizabeth regularly exhibits her work in the UK and abroad in exhibitions such as: International KOGEI Award in Toyama, Japan (March – May 2021), The London Art Fair (2020) and Over Under: Under Over at the Royal Scottish Academy. Please see the ‘work’ page above for more information relating to exhibitions past and present.

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Danielle Clough is an embroidery artist based in South Africa. Danielle’s colourful, delicate embroidery celebrates the joining of the old with the new in a wistful and playful manner that is thoroughly modern in approach, yet nostalgic at heart. She utilises a craft that is perceived as archaic but takes inspiration from current pop culture icons and the timeless beauty of nature.

She has been profiled by Instagram, Colossal, CNN, Vogue.com. Beautiful Bizarre, Hi-Fructose and the Creators Project, and has been published in the New York Times, Casa de Jardim, Hemslöjd, Evening Standard, Inspirations and Homespun amongst others. Her work has caught the attention of prominent clients such as Gucci, Adobe, The African Innovation Foundation, the United Nations, Origins, Nike, Kanye West, and Drew Barrymore.

For Danielle, her creative goal is to express the best of human emotion through art, and for each and every stitch to mark the passing of time spent with love and care. If her work evokes the slightest bit of happiness in you, then her intention has been achieved, and her gratitude is intertwined with your joy in a tapestry so radiant that all the colours in the galaxy could not do it justice.


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Kate Tume is an artist from West Sussex. Kate creates portraits in textiles using a variety of hand techniques including goldwork, stumpwork, and surface embroidery. Her work explores themes around species loss and the decline of our natural world, and seeks to subvert popular narratives around what extinction looks like. She often uses religious iconography and mythology to engage the viewer in a dialogue about what we hold sacred, and how that has changed.
Kate’s work has appeared in publications and exhibitions internationally. She teaches textile art techniques to students from around the world via her workshops, one-to-one tuition, and online classes.
Kate also designs and produces a range of Textile Art Boxes, which provide the opportunity to master hand embellishment techniques in a sustainable, zero-waste kit.

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Katie Wells is an abstract mixed media artist and founder of The Fiber Studio, through which she supports and promotes the works of emerging and established contemporary textile artists.  

After studying art history and Italian at UCL, Katie began her journey as an artist working with various textile media. She found her unique style in embroidered paintings that combine gestural paint-pouring with hand-stitching on canvas and paper. The resulting works are organic and expressionistic on the one hand, but measured and meticulous on the other. Much of her work is inspired by the natural world, and throughout all her work is the suggestion of botanical influence.

Alongside her studio practice as an artist, Katie works with SoLo Craft Fair, helping to create space for creators and craftspeople to establish and grow their businesses.

Stacey Jones

Website: https://www.instagram.com/bystaceyjones/



Pink Happy Easter Minimalist Instagram Post

Stacey Jones is a Textile Artist and Art Educator living in London. Her textile practice focuses on; life experiences, the cosmos, and the world in which we live. These themes are represented through intricately embroidered stitches, abstract patterns and bold flashes of colour.

In July 2020 Stacey experienced the immeasurable loss of her husband Christopher, who had been living with a rare type of cancer called; Synovial Sarcoma. Stacey describes the process of embroidery as being cathartic and finds solace when making work. In addition to this, Stacey actively supports cancer charity Sarcoma UK through each sale of her work.

Stacey takes great inspiration from Louise Bourgeois, Lenore Tawney, and Yayoi Kusama and is currently experimenting with Goldwork embroidery whilst working on a new collection inspired by the notion of being empowered.

Angie Wyman

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Angie Wyman leads the BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art at the Royal School of Needlework. This course is the only specialist degree level course in hand embroidery in Europe. Angie’s first degree was in Embroidered textiles. Working specifically within embroidery, craft and design, She has more than 20 years’ experience of working within Higher Education at Degree and Masters level. Both a practitioner and an academic with a career-long commitment to the promotion and continued practice of embroidery, Angie has exhibited works internationally, with pieces held in both public and private collections.

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