Guilds Gathering: Colour – The Full Spectrum

Guilds Gathering Update – July 2020

It was a disappointment for many people that it was not possible for the Guilds Gathering weekend to go ahead in June 2020 as planned. Like so many other events that guild members would have been looking forward to this summer, it became a victim of the Covid-19 virus. The AGWSD has now given the Guilds Gathering committee the go-ahead to reschedule the weekend for June 2022. It cannot be next year, as many guild members will want to attend Summer School. As yet, it is not possible to announce a specific date, but the committee will stay in touch with the speakers and demonstrators, and with the University of Worcester, whose St John’s Campus will hopefully again be able to provide the perfect venue. The committee will be in touch with all those who were registered for the event this year, just as soon as they are able to make firm plans.  Information will also appear on the Association website.


Coronavirus update – May 2020

The AGWSD have most reluctantly decided that our Guilds Gathering weekend in June cannot go ahead as planned. We do not want to use the word ‘cancelled’; we prefer to say ‘postponed’ to a date sometime in the future. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us using the email at the bottom of this page. The GPC would like to thank all those who have worked tirelessly for the Guild Gathering, postponing it was the last thing we wanted to do. In the meantime, please stay at home, stay well, and find joy in our wonderful crafts.  


19 – 21 June 2020, University of Worcester

Residential and non-residential weekend event


Including keynote speakers, practical sessions, demonstrations, talks, and a Saturday evening dinner. Guilds Gathering 2020 will differ from previous biennial conferences as it is no longer linked with the Association AGM. Guilds in the West Midlands Region are organising this event in which we hope the speakers will stimulate, motivate and instruct us with their depth of knowledge about colour and there will also be some practical activities.

The theme of colour was chosen as it is relevant to our three core crafts, weaving, spinning and dyeing. The weekend will also include a Certificate of Achievement assessment and display plus a talk about the Association Foundation Courses from the coordinator.

We hope it will be a relaxed and friendly weekend with opportunities to meet up and share time and skills with like minded people. Accommodation at our venue, the University of Worcester, is modern and very pleasant.

  Registration: PLEASE NOTE THAT THE EVENT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED   Programme: A draft programme for the event (Draft Programme PDF) is available for download. Please note that this is still subject to change. The speakers are:
  • Margo Selby, internationally renowned woven textile designer, delivering talk ‘Margo Selby Woven Textiles – Art into Industry‘ and workshop ‘Textile Colour Studies
  • Dr Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive of Royal School of Needlework and author of The Story of Colour in Textiles, speaking on ‘The growing Brightness of Colour: Colour Development in Textiles from Medieval Times to the 20th Century
  • Alison Daykin, a textile designer, tutor and co-author of Creative Spinning, delivering an ‘Adventures in Colour Blending‘ workshop
  • Caroline Nixon, textile artist and eco-dyer, delivering a talk ‘Capturing Nature’s Colours’ , plus a show & tell with opportunity for questions
  • and Daniel Harris, founder of the London Cloth Company who has recently acquired a mill near Worcester, delivering the after dinner speech on Saturday
Speaker Profiles
  Margo Selby is an internationally renowned textile artist and designer. Her design philosophy is focused on pushing the boundaries of weaving to create contemporary stylish fabrics for a range of textile applications, uniting the very best weavers and high quality fibres to produce beautifully crafted products. Margo trained in textile design at Chelsea College of Art and Design and then followed this with a postgraduate degree at The Royal College of Art, graduating in 2001. On graduating Margo initially worked as a woven textile designer for industrial mills. It was during this time she united her innovative hand-woven constructions with industrial machinery to create the unique 3-dimensional fabrics that were to become the trademark of the Margo Selby Brand. Margo’s expertise in weaving is central to all the product development. Although the design process begins with hand-woven textile concepts, 15 years of designing for Jacquard woven textiles has honed Margo’s understanding of graphic design. An ongoing fascination with mathematics is revealed in both the precise geometric pattern making and the systematised process of weaving. Alongside her commercial textile design business Margo also creates distinctive handwoven artworks which unite a modernist aesthetic with traditional weaving techniques. “I draw influence from the visual world around me; architectural forms, graphic design, pattern, scale and colour grouping. Colour is a driving force behind my work. I play with the juxtaposition of simple forms, manipulating the use of both complementary and contrasting colour palettes, applying a combination of colour theory and instinct. I’m interested in the relationship between man and machine, hand and industry, craft and technology. The loom and the disciplined nature of weaving provides boundaries and constraints which can be pushed against. The orderly nature of the craft of weaving is reflected”.   Dr Susan Kay-Williams is the Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework, a post she has held for 12 years. During that time she has overseen the development of the RSN Degree in hand embroidery, the Future Tutor programme and the significant expansion of the organisation as well as reinforcing its role as the international centre of excellence for the art of hand embroidery. In her spare time she researches colour in textiles and her first book was The Story of Colour in textiles. In 2015 she was recognised by the Society of Dyers and Colourists and made a Fellow. She speaks about colour and other textile areas around the world including in the US, China, Japan, Taiwan and Europe.   Alison Daykin is an award winning textile designer who has exhibited widely across the UK and Europe. She has been tutoring workshops for the past 35 years, has taught at three Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers Summer Schools and at numerous Guilds across the UK. Alison is co-author of Creative Spinning.   Caroline Nixon is a textile artist. She works with natural dyes and botanical contact printing (ecoprinting) to produce wearable art, wall art and home textiles. Working from her garden studio in long Compton, she captures the beauty of nature using the pigments and imprints of the leaves themselves – no synthetic ink, dyes or silk screens are involved. Hand and free machine stitch are used for embellishment, producing complex patterned cloth.The naturally occurring colours are soft and harmonious, and the process is non polluting and respectful of the environment. The plants and dyes come from sustainable sources – many are grown in her own garden. The smallest change in plant species, climatic conditions or water source can produce marked variations in the prints, meaning every item is unique. The textiles used are natural fibres, organically produced and ethically sourced wherever possible. Vintage textiles are also upcycled, giving them a new lease of life. Much of the linen and lace is sourced from French brocantes and local charity shops. The cooking pots used for processing are also recycled – copper preserving pans, cast iron laundry pots, aluminium cooking pots. All these techniques are the antithesis of today’s ‘throwaway’ society   Daniel Harris is the founder of the London Cloth Company established in October 2011, the first micro-mill to open in London for 50 years or so. The Company first came into being when Daniel rescued a rusting loom from an old barn in rural Wales. With absolutely no training or prior knowledge of weaving, he dismantled and re-assembled machines that hadn’t been touched for 30 years, quickly teaching himself the workings and intricacies of the various parts. The Company’s looms have been rescued from all over the UK, and date from as early as 1870 up to 1994.  More recently, Daniel has opened a further mill on the Worcestershire/Herefordshire border, and, as an optional extra, the 2020 Guild Gathering will provide an opportunity to visit the mill on the Sunday afternoon after the Conference closes.    FAQs Location University of Worcester St John’s Campus Henwick Grove St John’s Worcester WR2 6AJ Travel Information Please see the travel information to the campus on the University website: Cancellation and Refund Policy Refunds are not guaranteed after payment is submitted, and will only be issued if it is possible to resell your registration to another person.