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Visual Narratives & Hand-Stitching

In this workshop, facilitated by artist Frances Dorsey, participants will learn several simple hand-stitching techniques using found fabrics. Frances will guide participants in exploring how to use a seemingly random selection of textiles to carefully build a visual narrative, creating something meaningful from scraps. The results may be a beautifully mended and repaired garment, a wall piece, a 3D form, or something else. Participants may wish to use their own fabric, needles and thread but these materials will also be provided by MSVU Art Gallery, so participants will have a range of supplies to choose from.


About the Facilitator
Frances Dorsey has worked in her studio while teaching at NSCAD until retirement. Now she is in the studio full time, weaving, dyeing and printing cloth, sewing and constructing baskets. A growing appreciation for the fragility of the natural world has led to an investigation of plant life and the denizens of the soil. For some time, she has been working with local plants, clays, ferrous rocks, etc. to see how broad a palette of local colour might be. Through experimentation some kind of sensibility about terroir colour begins to emerge. The current work investigates seeds as metaphor as well as object, and the woods as subject as well as idea. Concurrently she works with found, used fabric and stitches together collage/assemblage pieces that follow some kind of narrative. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and is in private and public collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, the Nova Scotia Art Bank, the Cambridge Galleries Contemporary Fibre Collection, and the Mount Saint Vincent University permanent collection.


How to Participate
This online workshop is free to attend but advanced registration is required, all ages are welcome, and no experience necessary. Materials Kits will be available for contactless pick-up on Wednesday, February 17 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. If you are interested in participating, please email by Tuesday, February 16 at 5:00pm and include the following info:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Indicate your relationship with MSVU (e.g., student, faculty, staff, alumni, etc.)
  • Indicate if you have any access needs or concerns (e.g. require ASL interpretation, technology support, etc.)
  • Indicate if you are unable to pick up a Materials Kit on February 17; alternative options can be arranged for participants who are not able to pick up a Kit due to accessibility or COVID-19 related reasons.

More information about the workshop, materials and pick-up, Zoom video links and accessibility features, will be shared with registered participants via email in advance of the workshop.


Saturday, February 27, 2021


1:00 pm - 3:00 pm



Register by Email

Kelsey McLaughlin