Ema Hossain Design Portfolio

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Textile exhibitions, 63 by Sue Stone, Oct 2016

This year I have particularly enjoyed the embroidered work on display in the textile galleries at the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace. In particular the work by Sue Stone. 

Sue Stone is a UK based mixed media textile artist who studied Fashion at St Martins School of Art, and then Embroidery at Goldsmiths College in London. She is a current Chair and exhibiting member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists and a Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. 

Sue’s work combines hand stitch with the spontaneity of machine stitch and paint. Her images creative a partial narrative which the viewer is invited to complete.

Her exhibit "Do you remember me?" included a series of small self-portraits measuring 10ins x 12ins of which there are 63, each for one year of her life. The collection called '63' took a year to make and involved reliving teenage angst, hurt, heartbreak, loss, business problems and burglaries along side happy memories of family and friends.  

Self portrait by Sue Stone no 63 of 63.
This is a mixed media self portrait of Sue at 63 years old. 
Photograph by Sue Stone 

Self portrait no. 44 out of 63
Hand and machine stitched 
Photograph by Sue Stone

Self portrait no.16 out of 63
Hand and machine embroidered with paint
Photograph by Sue Stone.

Here is part of the wall of 63 self portraits by Sue at the Knitting and Stitching show exhibit "Do you remember me?"

Work by Sue Stone, photo by me

Work by Sue stone, photo by me

Sue Stone next to her work, photo by me

Sue's collection of cotton, linen and applied recycled fabrics, cotton, wool and paint, created during January 2015 and Jan 2016, is called 63, a self portrait made up of 63 images, an evolving installation with one image for each year of the artists life. The portraits can be purchased at £225 each, find out more about Sue here 


Exploring Sandringham Estate

This past week I've been inspired by the Norfolk countryside. I spent an afternoon looking in the public rooms at Sandringham which belongs to  Her Majesty The Queen. 

Private sitting for formal portrait of HM The Queen , Golden Jubilee, Rod Edwards Photography

The house is set in beautiful gardens and surrounded by woods and open space and the inside is equistely decorated with so much fine detail. 

 The Saloon, behind the black folded screen is where the front entrance door is. The Queen eats her breakfast and does her jigsaw puzzles here. 

 The small Drawing room at Sandringham

 The ballroom corridor 

The Museum at Sandringham holds  collections of the gifts given to the Queen on her state visit. It is housed in the former coach houses and stable block

The parish church of St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, is a country church of exceptional historic interest, with memorials to many members and relations of the Royal Family from Queen Victoria onwards.  It is used regularly as a place of worship by the Royal Family.

There's lots to explore and I look forward to visiting again 


Lydiard park & House

Lydiard House is located in Lydiard Park, Swindon.  The Palladian style house with Georgian features and land was owned by the Vicount Bolingbroke for several centuries until the costs of upkeep became too high. It is now owned by Swindon Borough Council who renovated it and opened it as a public museum with the surrounding park open as  a public park. 
Lydiard House


Dining Room

Table setting arrangement

Dummy cut out, these were commonly included in living spaces to give the illusion of there being people in the house at all times, to deter burglers and give a full house appearance

Sideboard in the dining room with display bowls

Drawing Room portraits and photographs

Tea was drunk in the Drawing room, tea cups and tea pot

Afternoon tea in the drawing room was a practice that was popularised in the early 19th century by the Duchess of Bedford who, in need of an afternoon 'pick me up' , began to take a pot of tea and a light snack in her private rooms at Woburn Abbey. She began to invite guests to join her and the practice spread amongst her aristocratic friends and it soon became a fashionable social occasion. 

Bed chamber

close up of the bed covered with embroidered designs

secret doorway


Stained glass window

The Socchi Desk

The Socchi desk is one of five desks and the only one in the UK. It is a mechanical table that can close into a circle shape. It was made by Italian cabinet market Giovanni Socchi in 1830. 

Lady Beauclerk, formerly Viscountess Bolingbroke (née Spencer) 1734-1808 was the daughter of the 3rd Duke of Marlborough, she married Viscount Bolingbroke and had two sons and a daughter. 
She got divorced and remarried and was a talented artist. 

Portrait of Diana

The Walled Garden was remodelled  in the 1740s as a formal enclosed garden

Walled garden

Walled garden view

Hyacinths and tulips

Walled garden view 

The garden changes with the seasons 

Apples grown in the garden are used to make cider and sold in the gift shop & cafe. 

Outside in the grounds away from the front of the house can be found the ice house.

Ice house used to refridgerate food for the house 

There is a lot to explore in the house and the park

 Find out more about Lydiard house, gardens grounds and the church on the grounds here 


Bejewelled Treasures : The Al Thani Collection at the V&A museum

This stunning collection with more than 100 objects owned by Sheikh Hamad Bin Abdullah Al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, have been loaned to the V&A for the show, which explores 400 years of Indian jewellery. It is being staged as part of  the V&A  India Festival and is sponsored by Wartski.

Highlights include Mughul Jades, jewelled finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan and modern pieces which serve to illustrate how designs and tastes changed over time. It showcases also how Indian style had an influence on avante garde European jewellery designs made by leading houses like Cartier and how modern pieces by JAR and Bhagat are inspired by a fusion of Mughal motifs and Art deco designs with an Indian twist. 

The collection also includes 3 major loans from the Royal Collection, lent by Her Majesty The Queen which are the Nabha Spinel, a jewelled bird (Huma bird) from the canopy of Tipu Sultan's Throne and the 'Timur Ruby'.

The Nabha Spinel

The Nabha spinel, 1608-09. Spinel, seed pearls, gold thread. Royal Collection Trust
© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015 
Spinel is a gemstone that comes in different colours with the purest form being colourless. The most desirable colours are the deep blood reds. They are also blue, orange pink and purple and it is hard and has clarity which makes it great for jewellery. 

The Huma bird from Tipu Sultan's throne canopy 

The defeat and death of Tipu, Sultan of Mysore  in 1799 led to the Sultan’s magnificent treasury and library being ransacked by the British forces, and the gold coverings of his throne were cut up into small pieces for distribution as prize. The throne was surrounded by a railing with a small jewelled tiger head above each support, and surmounted by a canopy raised on a post at the back. In the front was a life-size tiger head (later presented to William IV, now at Windsor Castle). Above the canopy hovered the huma or bird of paradise. It was ‘supposed to fly constantly in the Air, and never to touch the ground. It is looked upon as a Bird of happy Omen, and that every Head it overshadows will in time wear a Crown’. After the breaking up of the throne the Huma bird was eventually acquired and presented to George III and thus now is part of the Royal collection. 

Only one sketch by an artist who actually saw the throne exists today. This is titled the ‘Front view of the throne of the late Tippo Sultun’, and drawn by Thomas Marriot, ADC to the Commander-in-Chief, Madras dated 6 August 1799. Thomas Marriott preceded provided one of the few eyewitness accounts and pictorial representations of Tipu’s throne before it was broken up on the orders of the Prize Committee. In the drawing you can see where the bird would have sat at the top of the canopy. 

Close up of the beautiful gemstone detail of the Huma bird

Bird of Paradise from Tipu Sultan's throne, circa 1787-91 from the Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015 Bridgeman Image
The Timur Ruby

The Timur ruby came directly to Queen Victoria from India in 1850.  The ruby which is actual spinel rather than ruby, weighs 352.5 carats and with the smaller spinels were set by Garrads into an orient inspired necklace in 1853. The stone has historical links to the Mughal Emperors as proven with the inscriptions on it between 1612 and 1771. The connection with the great Asian conqueror Timur arose from a misreading of the inscriptions, but it's possible that Timur's inscription was erased. 

Jewels from the Al Thani private collection

The Crescent moon emerald was gifted to Anita Delgado, Princess of Kapurthala by her husband

Crescent Emerald with Diamonds, c 1910 Paris

the Maharajah of Kapurthala. She had seen it as part of a decoration on an elephant and she fell in love with it and it became her favourite jewel.
Here is photo of her wearing the Crescent Emerald 

The peacock aigrette

Peacock corsage or hair ornament (aigrette) Gold Diamond and Enamel, Meller, Paris 1910
This is another of the jewels gifted to his young bride by the Maharajah at their civil wedding ceremony.

Ruby choker

Ruby choker which the Maharajah of Patiala commissioned Cartier to design in 1931

Turban decorations

Turban decoration with hanging spinels

Pearl and spinel earrings 

Pearl, spinel & diamond earrings by JAR, Paris 2010

Pearl and spinel necklace

Spinel and pearl necklace from the Mughal Empire. The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd 

Turban decoration

Diamond turban jewel made for the Maharaja of Nawanagar in 1907; remodelled in 1935. The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd 

Pendant Brooch

Pendant brooch set with diamonds and rubies by Bhagat, Mumbai. The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd 

Jade crutch handle 

Jade crutch handle with precious stones set in gold, 18th century, from the Mughal Empire. The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd 

Ceremonial sword

Ceremonial sword with jewelled gold hilt, Hyderabad, South India, c. 1880-1900

Dagger with jade hilt, Mughal Empire, c. 1629-36 this jade-hilted dagger belonged to the Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal 

Gold finial from Tipu Sultan’s throne, circa 1790-1800. The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd 

Sword sash

Gold and diamond hair ornament, circa 1900. The Al Thani Collection © Servette Overseas Limited 2014. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd 

This video by Jewellery Editor is worth a watch, it explains some of the pieces in this collection