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Published: 07 April 2018

By Andy Ross

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The Art of Craft or the Craft of Art?

This week there has been high excitement in the studio. I bought an embroidery and it was delivered on Friday to much acclaim.

At the start of the week I was looking at the auction site, eBay, for interesting things to add to our various collections, when I stumbled across what looked like a beauitfully executed embroidered picture. I took the risk and purchased the piece outright and I am so glad that I did!

Marjorie A Lucas is/ was(Can anyone help?) a printmaker, engraver, painter and, apparently, embroiderer from the UK who worked successfully for more than thirty years as a practising artist. Trained at the Royal College of Art, Marjorie was admitted as an Associate to the Royal College of Art and exhibited extensively in England and Scotland. 

This particular picture, Endless Sea, shows all that training and expertise to its fullest. Drawn in single threads with exquisite details in the shading and line, the picture shows life below the sea, and above, with wit and humour 

(see the sardonic flounder on the right!) and amazing craftsmanship. It is such a good piece that I have decided to hang it in the studio for everyone to enjoy. When you visit the studio, in the production end of the building, take a look on the wall opposite our new display area, beside the bright, light window, where the picture is hanging. There is a magnifying glass beside the sculpture of the coelacanth fish (where else would you hear those words together?!) to look at the fine, delicate stitches and see how meticulous Marjorie was with the making of this. 

On the back of the frame is the gallery where this was exhibited in 1984. Given that Marjorie was born in 1911, to be able to achieve this level of work in 1981 with actuity and humour is absolutely astounding. I am so proud to own this piece and to be able to share it with you all.