Art needlework

In 1986 Berriman recorded that no examples of the said embroidery work of the Newlyn Classes had at that point come to light, and to date this unfortunately remains the case.

It is recorded that Mrs Ellen S DICK ran a class in needlework for local girls. Mrs Kneebone (nee Rouffingnac) recalls: 'I remember the sewing classes that Mr (Reginald Thomas DICK) and Mrs Dick started. Mr John Drew MacKENZIE invited me to join and I really loved it; Mrs Dick taught us all the embroidery stitches and after we completed an article it was sold and she gave us all the money'.

This suggests that this class was also a paying concern and 'Pauls' advertisement of 1897 lists 'Newlyn Enamel and Art Needlework' among its stock. Mr Wilfred TONKIN recalls that the class was still running in 1912 and was held in a room above the enamelling workshop. The work was 'tapestry' (probably canvas work in wool or silk - another favourite medium of the Arts and Crafts Movement) and they made bags, cushion covers and 'pictures' etc.

Other groups of co-workers exhibited at Newlyn Art Gallery from 1924, carrying such titles as the Barclay Workshops for the Blind, Caradon Looms, Disabled Soldiers and Sailors (with painted fabrics), the St Ives Handicraft Guild (who also showed their work in St Ives venues and elsewhere) and the Weaving School for Crippled Girls.  No individuals were named within these groups, and therefore artists exhibiting in this way are as such anonymous, unless making their names as craftworkers from their own studios and workshops. Some individual artists who displayed tapestries and wall-hangings and belonged to the national societies, are individually listed.

Many artists, male and female, worked on banners and church hangings for community and religious events. This craft continues to date, and can be seen most vividly in the Golowan Festival parades and street decorations each summer in Penzance.




Batten Newlyn of Yesterday

Berriman (1986) Arts and Crafts in Newlyn 1800=1930;

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p133)