Tuesday, 23 March 2010

New Brunswick College of Art and Design

Canada this time by Air India time zones seem to have evaded the Indian culture getting wrong by an hour does not help connecting flights, should have checked, missed the plane and spent the night in a Hilton, arrived in Fredericton the following day and was reacquainted with my luggage thank goodness. Ellen Woolaver looked after me and showed me around a wonderful old town which goes back to the revolution and looks remarkably like Virginia and the Carolinas. The College is a dream with only a few hundred students they are able to give almost one to one tutoring. Under the able guidance of Michael Maynard this is a College of Craft and Design which is going places. The talk was well attended by students faculty members and the local Embroiderers Guild, very knowledgeable and a pleasure to talk to.

Back to Blighty

A command from the Palace summoned me back to meet Her Majesty at a reception for the British Clothing industry. Lots of friends and acquaintances and of course a few words with ‘Ma.am’ made the long trip worthwhile.

Woodbury University

A long and tedious evening drive, not really recommended after an exciting talk, so we stopped at Palm Springs, the pearl of the desert the temperature just right. Then into the maul of California traffic, where are all these people going? Stayed with my friend Marco at Dana Point and the next evening set off for Woodbury to be met by my good friend May Routh. It was my second visit, the first some three years ago which was quite exciting because that is when Forest Whittaker won the Oscar for 'The Last King of Scotland' courtesy of Hand & Lock.All the accoutrements were ours (well maybe not he’s a pretty fine actor). Now this year with 'Young Victoria' where we supplied many of these wonderful gentlemens outfit through our good friends at Angels. The talk was in their new auditorium and was attended by a knowledgeable audience.

Thursday night we took in ‘The Lakers’ courtesy of Marko’s friend Richard, thank you Richard. Our first experience of major league basketball and what an experience the one thing about you American’s, you can certainly put on a show and of course Kobe Bryant took the Lakers through on the final pot of the day.

Friday found us watching whales, what an experience, we approached this with some trepidation as the previous trip that day we only managed to see some dolphins. We were lucky that the giant fin whales were in abundance, enormous graceful creatures the second biggest on the planet, quelle joy what an experience.

Mesa Community College

Nothing had quite prepared us for Phoenix this huge crossroads of Mexican, American and Native Americans cultures with a healthy sprinkling of old folk in the warmth, is vast and goes on for ever a land of heat and cactus it apparently has had more rain in the first two months of this year than usual so they are waiting for the desert to bloom this spring bringing in lots of tourists which they need as they are suffering from recession blues. We met Evonne our host who looked after us well the talk was on and off for a bit but like any true professional she moved into top gear and provided the most wonderful facilities with the best techie guys I have come across. What a well attended talk, people from all over the community some coming as far as 50 miles well done you guys. Thanks to Evonne Bowling for all her help in organizing the lecture. California next stop.

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University

Then it was off to Lubbock the home of Buddy Holly and other things we don’t talk about. This is a great University which I visited before, the professor there being Theresa Alexander who has a great understanding of embroidery and has been to our conferences in London and Glasgow and indeed she has left a great legacy of embroidery which has been taken up by Teresa Maria Leos. The talk was well attended and Alba started her first tentative steps to public speaking. Thanks go to Teresa Maria Leos who organized the event and Su-Jeong Hwang Shin.

We had a little time to spare so headed off to Las Vegas for the weekend a long drive with a stop at the ‘Billy the Kid’ museum although why it is called that was a mystery to us as most of it consisted of a variety of collectables from ancient cars to sewing machines and horse tackle however it did have ‘the gun that shot Billy the Kid’ who appeared to be more of a private security guard than a diabolical villain and killed by one of his own family. Las Vegas was as Las Vegas is all glitz and glamour in tacky wonderfulness. Great food was eaten and much walking through New York Paris and a variety of themed hotels but of course the Balenciaga was Alba’s favorite the fact that it had a ‘Chanel’ shop had absolutely nothing to do with it. Then off back down the road to Phoenix.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Welcome to Texas

After a long but quite comfortable flight from Heathrow to Denton Dallas we arrived to a hero’s welcome. Of course it wasn’t for us unfortunately, but rather the troops that were coming home. After we made our way through the waving American flags, camera flashes and cheers we found ourselves lost, how lost
you might ask?
In Okalahoma lost.

Alastair being the stereotypical male refused to ask for directions and me, well I was also living to my stereotype by reading the map catastrophically wrong which concluded in us missing our point of destination by about 35 miles and a whole different state.
The next day we were off to do the first talk of the American Tour in the University of North Texas. After a slight bout of turbulence in the computer department with Alastair’s power point presentation we were off to a flying start. The students enjoyed the lecture and gave Alastair raving reviews with one student erupting into tears as she expressed how moved she was by the presentation. However the highlight of North Texas University has to be their amazing fashion archive donated by Neiman Marcus and contains pieces dating back to 1790 as well as garments worn by actresses such as Claudia Colbert, and garments belonging to prestigious fashion houses like Chanel, Lacroix, Balenciaga and many more.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

'A Taste Of the Rich Tradition of Embroidery' US and Canada Lecture Tour

Welcome to Hand and Locks US and Canada Lecture Tour Blog Spot!!!

Alastair Macleod the chairman of Hand and Lock has set off touring the USA and Canada for March and April 2010. His inspiring lectures have been a huge success in the UK and Australia and should not be missed!!!

Check out Alastair's dates and venues and contact us here at Hand and Lock to get more details about lectures in you area.

Alastair will be blogging right here... so stay tuned to get instant updates on how the tour is going!


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