A Bernard Leach pot from the museum’s collection is the subject of a unique hand embroidery composition, created by textile designer Leah Nikolaou especially for this workshop. This workshop combines two of Leah’s passions; flower pressing and embroidery with chunky yarns. Leah will expertly teach you how to create her design using 3 different hand embroidery stitches: brick stitch, French knots and satin stitch.

You will also learn Leah’s best practice for preserving beautiful pressed flowers to be incorporated into your embroidered pot to complete your hand crafted piece. Each stage is broken down into 7 chapter films totalling 90 minutes, and can be watched at your own pace as often as you like within 6 weeks of purchase.

This workshop comes with a materials pack that includes all the specialist equipment to create this unique design.

There are also downloadable PDFs that accompany the workshop with information about Ditchling artists and relevant pieces from the museum’s collection. 

A taste of the course

Watch the trailer to find out more about what you'll learn on this course.

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Leah Nikolaou

Leah Nikolaou is a British designer creating timeless yet standout art, textiles and curios which fuse the two vintage past times, tapestry and flower pressing.

Having learnt both skills as a child she polished her design skills at the Royal College of Art and enjoys interpreting her old passions in a feminine and contemporary vintage way. In 2019 Leah set up Leah Nikolaou whilst taking a short career break to care for her then toddler. She uses vintage items such as old McCoy and American ‘lady head vases’, French style brocante jugs and kitsch planters as the subjects for her still life pieces. You could say that she is slightly obsessed with anything shaped like an animal, which can also be used as a vessel to hold flowers.

Leah's work focusses on capturing the fragility of nature, and always begins by her opening her flower press for inspiration. Mindfully collecting, growing and pressing flowers brings so much enjoyment itself, as well as providing a great visual resource for both her print and fabric designs. Also a keen amateur gardener, she likes to think her flower growing expertise is getting better by the season! 

Once her base fabric or paper has been designed, Leah enjoys embellishing with chunky hand embroidery. Leah loves the contrast created by the crisp paper or fabric, and chunky woollen stitches, and believes this to be her signature style. Timeless durable fabrics, such as linen are her preferred textures, because as well as having a conscience they are a modest base to build upon. Whether paper or fabric, she loves the way they drastically change when they are hand embroidered with chunky wool. This use of tapestry gives her pieces a homespun heirloom twist of magic and story despite being new creations. She would love nothing more than for her pieces to become antiques themselves in the future.