Nicola Jarvis

"I look upon myself as an artist who uses drawing, painting and stitch in order to make my work.  I have a beautiful studio in Warwickshire, where I live with my husband David and our golden retriever Quince.

​Having designed and taught embroidery for over thirty years, since my apprenticeship training at the Royal School of Needlework, I have used stitch in a wide range of applications and teach my craft internationally to people of all ages and backgrounds. Recognition for these skills came in 2018, when I received a Commendation from the prestigious Beryl Dean Award for Excellence in Teaching.

 Holding a First Class Honours degree in Fine Art, a Masters in Fine Art and a Certificate of Education, I was part of the team that wrote, launched and delivered the Foundation Degree and Honours Degree at the RSN between 2007 and 2011.

 Alongside teaching and assessing, I was hired for ten years to make sample embroidery for British garment manufacturers including Coats Viyella, Courtaulds Textiles, Jaeger, Marks and Spencer and Sun hing Knitting.  However, my best fashion job was being part of the team that created the lace for Catherine, Princess of Wales’ wedding dress.

In 2010 I was awarded Overall Winner of the ‘Inspired by Morris’ exhibition at the William Morris Gallery, London, and went on to stage my solo show there in 2013.  ‘The Art of Embroidery: Nicola Jarvis and May Morris’ was based on the design practice of William and May Morris and showcased the stitching skills of over 30 international embroiderers.

Funding from Arts Council England enabled me to become Artist-in-Residence at the gallery from July to September 2013.  My show then toured around Arts and Crafts houses in England, including National Trust property Wightwick Manor in the West Midlands, Kelmscott House in Hammersmith, London and Blackwell House on Lake Windermere.

 Over the last decade I have enjoyed delivering site-specific embroidery courses in stately homes, museums and other venues across the UK, Europe and USA.  Projects include collaborations with textile historian Lynn Hulse of Ornamental Embroidery, where we co-delivered object-based learning programs at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.  These courses culminated in an exhibition of contemporary raised work caskets entitled ‘The Needle’s Excellency’ at the museum in 2017, and a collaborative exhibition ‘The Needle’s Art’ at the Bodelian Library, Oxford in 2022, showcasing twenty embroidered artworks inspired by the Ashmole 1504 model book/manuscript. 

 My most recent honour was an invitation to contribute to the embroidery on the Anointing Screen for the coronation of King Charles III in May 2023."