Intake School students also designed this piece representing gymnasts.
The embroidery was done on a computerised sewing machine, purchased for the Tapestry with the aid of a lottery grant. There were several debates when the panels were being made, about whether machine- and computerised-machine embroidery are a form of cheating. A personal view is that it's like comparing using oils, acrylics and water colours in painting. Each has something different to offer.
One of the gymnasts was scanned into a dedicated software programme on the computer. Areas for sewing were selected, then the computer linked to the sewing machine. The computerised sewing machines are supplied with a hoop for stretching the fabric across, and it's the hoop that moves under instruction from the programme. The programme was run four times to produce the four gymnasts. The sewing machine sews away without interference or need for the pedal but there is a tendency for the thread to snap the minute the 'embroiderer' leaves the room.
Machine embroidered by Barbara Walker (5 hours)