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Karina Thompson

Karina Thompson.
Photo: Becky Matthews

Applique work detail by Asian Women's Textile Group.
Photo: Becky Matthews

Karina Thompon, Moon Phase detail.
Photographer: Becky Matthews

Soho House, Birmingham

Textile artist Karina Thompson was based at Soho House, the home of Matthew Boulton, a leading figure in the Industrial Revolution. Weaver Lauren Crawford supported Karina and together they worked with women from the Asian Women's Textile Group using the interior of Boulton's house for inspiration.

The Asian Women's Textiles Group has been meeting together for many years and have excellent skills base in traditional Indian hand stitch. Karina wanted to offer some new techniques to stimulate new directions to the women. To encourage more of a link between the group and Soho House, Karina took them on a 'pattern safari' around the house, to photograph examples of interesting patterns. She also showed them various textile techniques including machine embroidery, heat bonding and slashing.

By the end of the project, a number of women had grown in confidence to get involved in decision making for the group. The individual pieces are really beautiful and have been sewn together to make a new piece of work on display at Soho House. Karina was very impressed by how committed the women are to the group.

Karina Thompson

I am interested how we as humans use technology to make our lives better. Recently my work has been about digital technology in the 21st Century but Matthew Boulton and the significant developments that he instigated have been a longstanding interest of mine. The time at Soho House has allowed me to look at his life in greater depth. It became clear early on that circles were a recurring theme; steam engine rotary movement, coin making, button making, clock faces. Given the importance of the Lunar Society within Boulton's life, the idea of a piece of work reflecting both the lunar cycle and the circles became apparent.

These pieces are taken from a site specific installation in the Lunar Room at Soho House. The installation uses imagery from Boulton's involvement in the development of steam powered rotary movement, his creation of the Birmingham Mint and the coins it made, his co-foundation of the Lunar Society and his interest in astronomy and time keeping.

The original installation consisted of 29 pieces each representing a phase of the moon. The piece was laid out around the dining table in Soho House that the Lunar Society regularly met at. Each piece uses digitally programmed embroidery, often on digitally printed fabric.

Working with the Asian Women's Textile Group enabled me to revisit my experience of working with an interpreter. It's something I have done before with sign language and it was a useful reflective practice. It was also good to build on experience in terms of talking and interacting with participants appropriately.

The Making Moves Blog
Graduate Placement:
Lauren Crawford
Lauren Crawford Photographer: Becky Matthews

Place of Study & Course:
Duncan of Jordanstone, College of Art and Design, Dundee, Textile Design B Des (Hons)

I have produced a new range of hand woven Unisex Scarves, using luxury silks and woollen fibres, sourced from traditional Scottish and English mills. Created in rich colours and styles, inspired by the opulent colours and interior styles of Soho House, the fabrics were woven on a 16 shaft dobby hand loom, before being machine felted, air dried and hand finished. My experience as the graduate textile artist at Soho House has been extremely inspiring. I am now eager to continue sharing my experience and enthusiasm for textiles crafts with others in the community. I have enjoyed attending the projects networking events and interacting with like-minded artists and professionals from different backgrounds. The project has also provided a unique platform to make new products and produce a coherent collection of scarves to exhibit as part of the touring exhibition. Overall Making Moves has extended my creative vision and provided great stimulus to develop and achieve successful business outcomes.

Unisex Float Scarfs by Lauren Crawford.