Guild meetings

The Guild’s programme of meetings is open to Guild members and their guests only.

You can download a pdf of the 2020 Programme here.



Thursday 9 January Master’s Night
Alan Powers
William Morris and me

The new Master was told about William Morris at the age of 12, and became fascinated by his designs, his life and his circle. He speculates on how this impulse might have brought him to his present position.

Thursday 23 January
Emma Sewell
Wallace Sewell - colour, composition and collaboration

In 1992, Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell launched Wallace Sewell, at Chelsea Craft Fair, with no real plan, except a passion for creating extraordinary woven textiles, designed by hand, but for industrial manufacture. Emma relates the journey of this small but diverse studio.

Thursday 6 February
PM Prue Cooper
Heathcote Williams: poet, playwright and countercultural activist

By turns idealistic, very funny, scholarly, and angry (sometimes all at once), Heathcote Williams used every creative means – words, images, performance – to challenge injustice and the hypocrisies of both right and left, and argue for a kinder, fairer world.

Thursday 20 February
Anthony Powers
Music and the English landscape

How English composers, from Elgar to the present, have been inspired by English landscapes; whether music can evoke landscape, and how twentieth century ‘pastoralist’ composers relate to traditions of landscape painting from Constable to Hockney.

Thursday 5 March
Martin Treu
Signs, streets and storefronts in the USA

Spectacular displays of electric signage and neon are famous in Times Square and Las Vegas, but storefronts and cinemas, especially in the Main Streets of smaller towns, display the visual exuberance of a hundred-year old folk art.

Thursday 19 March
Bro. Rolfe Kentish and Bro. Hugh Cullum
Inside the British Library

Please note that this talk has been postponed due to Government advice on the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

The British Library, by Colin St John Wilson and the late Bro. M J Long, has divided opinion since opening in 1997. Our speakers, joined by others from the project team, will explain the development of the design and construction.

Thursday 2 April
Annette Carruthers, Mary Greensted and Barley Roscoe
Ernest Gimson: Arts & Crafts designer and architect

Please note that this talk has been postponed due to Government advice on the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

Described by Pevsner as ‘the greatest of the English artist-craftsmen’, Ernest Gimson was a central, but elusive, figure in his time. The authors of the recent definitive book on his life and work will reveal his stature and contemporary relevance.

Thursday 16 April
Will Hunter
Radical models for architectural learning at the London School of Architecture

Please note that this talk has been postponed due to Government advice on the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

With architecture schools becoming remote from the real issues of the profession and costing more for students, the London School of Architecture was founded in 2015 to combine job-based learning with project-based London sites. Will Hunter, the founder, tells the story so far.

Thursday 7 May
Diana Springall
What do you mean by embroidery?

Please note that this talk has been postponed due to Government advice on the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

Diana Springall, embroider, writer, educator and collector, asks why crafts are regarded as lower in artistic importance than fine art, in spite of the fact that most practitioners have been trained in some aspect of fine or applied art.

Thursday 21 May
Bro. Stephen Proctor
Where do houses live?

Please note that this talk has been postponed due to Government advice on the current Covid-19 Pandemic.

Initially inspired by the Townscape theories of Gordon Cullen, Proctor and Matthews Architects have been exploring a contextual approach to contemporary architecture and placemaking for over 30 years, avoiding the pitfalls of suburbia with characterful new urban, suburban and rural neighbourhoods.

Thursday 4 June
Bro. Rory Young
The texture of living and my work

My work and my leisure, commissions and house are inseparable: a nursery of invention inspired by the art of building and the architectural crafts in the field of stone and plaster; learning to be what I am and to be that perfectly.

Thursday 18 June
Ayla Lepine
Stone, silk, and neon: contemporary art in British cathedrals

Recently, artists have become more attentive to theology and Christian themes, while the Church begins to work innovatively with artists. Showing recent work by Ian Hamilton Finlay, Stephen Cox, and Arabella Dorman, this talk illuminates intersections of art, religion, and sacrament.

Thursday 2 July
Bro. Matthew Eve
C. Walter Hodges: a life illustrating history

Guild member C. Walter Hodges (1909-2004) was a writer and illustrator famed for books on Elizabethan theatre, historical novels, illustrations for the Radio Times and classic children’s books. Matthew Eve brings a personal perspective based on conversations and correspondence.

Thursday 16 July
Bro. Celia Ward
From a privet hedge in the Highlands to Moldovan mascherata

My journey from portrait drawings and West End exhibitions to the collaborative textile project East London Textile Arts via, a Transylvanian village, Moldavian winter carnival and aid projects in Bolivia.


Thursday 1 October
Sarah Turner
Enchanting the modern: art, craft and Theosophy

The Theosophical Art Circle was founded in London in 1907 by Clifford Bax with the purpose to ‘unify the arts’. This talk will look at how artists were drawn to Theosophy and other esoteric movements in Britain and across the globe in the early twentieth century.

Thursday 15 October
Bro. Rosemary Hill
Suddenly it’s now: Paul Spooner and the School of Rough Automata

The late Sue Jackson’s Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, a museum and amusement arcade in Covent Garden Market, opened in 1985. The exhibits were moving figures, variously large, small, comical and sinister. Thus was launched one of the most exciting and thought-provoking of the new craft movements of the decade.

Thursday 29 October
Hon. Bro. Peter Cormack
Charles J. Connick’s Adventures in Light and Color

After Louis Comfort Tiffany’s lush pictorialism, ‘Modern Gothic’ architects in the USA re-imagined the medieval tradition in stained glass. Boston artist Charles J. Connick (1875-1945), profoundly influenced by English Arts & Crafts, developed a thrilling and distinctively American art form.

Thursday 12 November
Bro. Richard Kindersley
Three national military memorials

After working on several recent national military memorials, including the new British D-Day Landing Memorial in France, Richard Kindersley finds that ‘any sense of the triumphalism of war evaporated as we worked amongst these remembered names.’

Thursday 26 November
Wendy Hitchmough
Omega dress

At the Omega Workshops, Vanessa Bell and other artists moved beyond the ‘pin-cushion pretty’ Arts and Crafts preoccupation with rational and artistic dress to create Cubist cloaks and brilliantly patterned buttonholes, crafted from painted and stiffened muslin.

Thursday 10 December
Annual General Meeting (members only)