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 email@example.com.
Anna Taylor is an embroidery designer specialising in freehand Irish machine and creative digital embroidery, using innovative and experimental techniques. She has worked in the industry for over a decade involved in design, development and production of high-end embroidery. Anna mastered her skill on the Irish machine at Jenny King Embroidery where she has been working for many years producing embroidery for fashion, film, theatre and interiors. Clients include Mary Katrantzou, Vivienne Westwood, Erdem, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Opera House. Throughout her years in the industry she has taught and mentored many new stitchers in the studio, in addition to industry individuals online and Textile Degree students at University.
Beatrice Korlekie Newman is a designer, founder of Korlekie & Head of Department Fashion School of Arts and Digital Industries (ADI) University of East London Her designs centre on the unique craftsmanship of heritage crafts such as Knitwear, crochet and macramé, fused with modern digital technology to create sustainable, timeless pieces of clothing.
Her brand Korlekie mainly focuses on womenswear, with silhouettes and fabrications that emphasise the body and creates drama with serving of glamour. The brand has been worn by the likes of Tiwa Savage, Paloma Faith, Rita Ora and Anna Friel to name a few, on the red carpet and on stage as well as featured in the likes of Vogue, iD, and Elle amongst other magazines in Europe and internationally.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Ashdown MA RCA is an artist based in London. 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 meticulous 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 collections throughout the UK and abroad. Elizabeth regularly exhibits her work in the UK and abroad in exhibitions such as the International KOGEI Award in Japan, The London Art Fair and Over Under: Under Over at the Royal Scottish Academy.
Justine Bonenfant graduated in fashion design from ESMOD in 2010 before pursuing her hand-embroidery training at the Lesage School (Chanel Group) in Paris. Justine is a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust alumni and she was awarded by HRH the Prince of Wales at Clarence House to carry out an apprenticeship in Goldwork and Monogramming at Hand and Lock, London based embroidery atelier since 1767. Her embroidery know-how combines both extensive French Luneville and British needle techniques. She has lived in Paris, Marrakech, London and Chennai, cities with rich artisanal heritages, where she worked for a broad range of fashion houses and ateliers, from Haute Couture to Ready to Wear and bridal. These include Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Alexander McQueen to mention a few. Some of the designs and luxury pieces she worked on were worn by the likes of Beyonce, Naomi Campbell, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie. Justine also works on theatre projects for Disney’s musicals. Justine is a guest lecturer at the Royal School of Needlework and a tutor at Hand and Lock. She has taught international classes in the US, Australia and Indonesia. She is also the founder of accessory label Clo de Vila. Her intricately detailed and witty hand-embroidered neckpieces and brooches got featured in Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, l’Officiel, Sunday Times Style, Hunger and Elle to name a few.
Danielle Clough, born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Clough completed her studies in art direction and graphic design at The Red and Yellow School before embarking on a career in visual art, digital design and thing-making. Her combined interest in visual art, music and the South African street culture scene led to an experimental stint turned niche gig creating visuals for live music events. Using the stage name Fiance Knowles, Dee has performed with local artists Haezer, PH Fat, Hugh Masekela and internationals acts such as the Allah Las, Mick Jenkins, Cid Rim, The Black Lips and Black Sun Empire. She has played a bunch of music festivals you’ve probably never heard of if you’re over 45 and your primary music listening preference is Jazz (If not, see: Rocking the Daisies, Grietfest, Synergy, CTEMF, Nuworld Fest.)
Angie Wyman leads the prestigious and world-renowned BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery Degree at the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. The course is validated by Kingston University and is the only specialist degree level course in hand embroidery. It attracts students worldwide, who upon graduation build successful careers within the sector.
Working specifically within embroidery, textile art and design, Angie has more than 30 years’ experience of working within Higher Education at Degree and Masters level. Both as an Embroidery practitioner and an academic, Angie has upheld 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.
Sorrell Kerrison is a multimedia artist who is best known for her expressionistic Fauvist hand embroidered textile portraits. Using a range of unconventional and improvisational approaches to textile work giving each of her pieces an individual life of its own. Her work is colourful and exciting, a visually controlled chaos that brings her subjects to life. In 2000 Kerrison went to Salford University to attend the Television and Radio (BA Hons) degree course, specialising in editing and journalism. Kerrison used her skills garnered at University to make a spectrum of work including music videos and documentaries. Kerrison moved to London in 2008 and worked with the Battersea Arts Centre, V22 in Bermondsey and at a variety of festivals both as a performer and in supportive roles. During this period Kerrison was also the singer and songwriter of a band called No Plato (2009 – 2011) , named after a W.H Auden poem which she loved. In 2012 Kerrison moved to Bristol and became the singer and guitarist in grunge garage band Pinot Grigio (2013 – 2017).
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.
Chloë 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.
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.
Elena Ciarrocchi is an Italian free-lance artisan, living in Porto San Giorgio, a small town on the Adriatic sea. She specialises in goldwork, working mainly in ecclesiastical embroidery, restoring and creating religious vestments. Almost twenty years ago, after studying at the Bologna Academy of Fine Arts, she tried a goldwork embroidery workshop in Rome and immediately fell in love with it. She had the opportunity to learn from experienced embroiderers by working beside them. She now transfers her knowledge by running goldwork embroidery workshops, as so little is known in Italy nowadays. Her true passion is embroidering her fish and sea creatures! Elena has been recently selected by Fendi, to be part of the project “Hand in Hand”, that celebrates Italian craftsmanship. Interpreting the iconic Fendi baguette by applying her goldwork embroidery technique.
Kseniia Guseva is a textile artist, based in Berlin and also known as @faimyxstitch. She started her embroidery journey to cope with anxiety, eventually leading to a full career. Kseniia’s main source of inspiration is architecture, nature, and how people interact with it. In her practice, she’s striving for zero waste and reuse of leftovers and vintage materials. The whole process is made by hand. Her work can be found in private collections all over the world. Kseniia’s works are featured in online and printed magazines and were recently featured in the book “Embroidery. The Art of Stitches”. Throughout the years, she has taught embroidery to more than 3500 students online.
Sonny is a self taught goldsmith who creates unique pieces by hand. His inspiration stems from times where the hand work was instrumental to the piece, real time and when energy was given to the smallest of details. His work is inspired by pieces of the past, such as the Middle Ages, Roman, Byzantine and Victoria eras but with a modern approach.
All of his work is bespoke and works directly with stone dealers and lapidaries to source the perfect stone for each piece. Sonny was a semifinalist in the BBC show “All that Glitters” in 2021 and now has clients from all over the world.