Tanya Williamson - Machine-embroidered Textiles

Meet Tanya Williamson...

Tanya was bought a sewing machine by her mother-in-law for Christmas about 6 years ago. She decided to take a course in Farnham to learn how to operate it effectively and was immediately hooked. 

Tanya found that she could create cushions in her own style of appliqué with freehand machine embroidery, and create unique images using upcycled fabrics. Over time she has developed designs featuring a broad range of British wildlife, which she presents on cushions, pictures and designs printed on mugs.

Her inspirations can come from a gorgeous piece of fabric, a picture in a magazine, or a suggestion from a mum in the school playground.


Tanya sells her work through her website and via Etsy; as well as at craft shows, festivals and agricultural shows. Her cushions and pictures are also on sale in the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen Gallery in Moushill Lane, Milford, and in a number of local shops,

She frequently takes commissions, these are often of people’s pets, particularly dogs.

Website: www.marmaladeskiesdesigns.co.uk

Email:    marmaladeskiesdesigns@gmail.com

Facebook and Instagram: marmaladeskiesdesigns

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This is an occasional blog for the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen by Camilla Whybrow, jewellery maker and Surrey Guild of Craftsmen member

Blog, Members

Jackie Faris - Designer/maker in silver

Starting out

Jackie closed the door on her career in education in 2010 and started learning to design and make in silver. Throughout her career she had always aimed to be an inspiring teacher and was lucky enough to find one to help her develop her skills and knowledge as a silversmith. That teacher was and still is an unbelievably talented master silversmith herself, and as a member of Goldsmiths set the bar high for Jackie.

From the first moment she stepped inside the workshop Jackie felt an instant rush from all the tools hanging around the walls and a great desire to understand how she could use them to work in silver for herself. Her teacher/mentor taught Jackie that working with this precious metal is truly an art form, combining architecture and structure as well as sculpture, and it is these three elements that she emotionally engages with now, and finds the most pleasing.

Jackie’s photo collection of her work since 2013 shows a clear development of her style. Her technical accomplishments enable both the creativity that she now employs and the joy that she takes from working with silver to create unique pieces.

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Jackie says that she is still a work in progress and as such her aim is to continue to learn from the talented silver and goldsmith’s community that is in the U.K. Her chosen craft, combined with a burgeoning knowledge of the technical aspects of working in precious metals, will remain in the service of her art.

She aspires always to be open to new ideas and possibilities within the field of metalsmithing and she is continually reminded that skill based learning, and the traditional methods she has acquired and continues to acquire, are irreplaceable.


Jackie’s joy is in creating new pieces, mainly in jewellery, and in learning from the processes involved. But she is always happy to have an opportunity to work closely with individual clients to create a bespoke, personal piece.

Jackie Faris MA (Ed)

Jackie's work can be seen at The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen Gallery, Milford, Surrey.

Social media

  • Pinterest:  Jackie Faris:  Faris1542
  • Instagram: jackiefaris83

This is an occasional blog for the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen by Camilla Whybrow, Jewellery maker and Surrey Guild of Craftsmen member


Peace for Our Time

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The Royal British Legion poppy appeal

The Royal British Legion works year-round to support those who have defended our freedom. Strangely we only seem to remember this around September/October when poppies are commonly on sale (in the UK anyway).     

Nancy Shafee's special edition poppies

But it was actually in April five years ago that Surrey Guild of Craftsmen member (and current Chair) Nancy Shafee approached The Royal British Legion with the idea of making special edition poppies to raise funds for the charity. Interviews followed and a contract which she has renewed each year. During discussions she discovered that apparently the RBL encourages ‘small licence holders’ so she’s one of a growing band of felters, stitchers, knitters and crochet enthusiasts who produce pretty handmade poppies. With a contract these crafters have permission to use the RBL logo marking them out as licenced products.

Nancy continues to make as many of these pretty corsages as she can during the year, as well as producing ‘poppy packs’ with all the wool and instructions needed for enthusiasts to make their own.

‘The emphasis is always on quality rather than quantity but still I manage a few hundred every year and of course each one is different.  I love teaching people to make them as well and 20% of all my workshops and poppies sold goes to the Royal British Legion’ she says. ‘Felting is a great hobby and anyone can learn – it’s good fun and very sociable’.  

A symbol of remembrance

Poppies have become a symbol of remembrance, but also of freedom, hope and peace. While we often associate poppies with veterans of the First and Second World Wars, we need to remember there are young service personnel still fighting to bring peace to countless countries around the world. So, these poppies are Nancy’s tribute to all of them - young and old. Peace for Our Time.**

Nancy is a member of The International Feltmakers Association and current Chairman of The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen.

Nancy will be demonstrating at the Festival of Crafts at Farnham Maltings in Surrey on October 28th and 29th. Otherwise, if you would like a poppy, they are on sale throughout the year at The Surrey Guild Gallery in Milford or you can contact Nancy via her FB page: https://www.facebook.com/fantasiesinflight  or email flights-of-fantasy@hotmail.com. 

The Royal British Legion is a registered charity with registered charity No 219279.

** Interesting fact: The phrase "Peace for Our Time" was spoken on 30 September 1938 by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his speech concerning the Munich Agreement and the Anglo-German Declaration. The phrase echoed Benjamin Disraeli, who upon returning from the Congress of Berlin in 1878 stated "I have returned from Germany with peace for our time." It is primarily remembered for its ironic value: less than a year after the agreement, following continued aggression from Germany and its invasion of Poland, Europe was plunged into World War IIIt is often misquoted as "peace in our time", which had appeared long before in The Book of Common Prayer as "Give peace in our time, O Lord", probably based on the 7th-century hymn 'Da pacem Domine! in diebus nostris, Alleluja'. It is unknown how deliberate Chamberlain's use of such a similar term was, but anyone of his background would have been familiar with the original.