For us it is important to counter the hectic pace of everyday life, the many fears and worries of people. To bring our souls back into peace. Away from the "what can we still use it for today" to "it is simply fun to work with my hands". Working with hand dyed textile materials is a contact with our roots and an encounter with our innermost self. Some paint or make pottery - we stitch and make lace and weave and spin!
We stand for the preservation of the artisanship of needlework in all its splendour and diversity! With us there is -almost- nothing that does not exist. We want everyone who comes to us to take something home with them: the knowledge of what they can create with needle and thread and textile materials. And that everyone who has the courage to trust us and their own creativity can master this wonderful craft with a little practice.
Since her childhood, BIZ has been intensively involved in all kinds of manual work. Inspired by her artistic parents and a committed needlework teacher, she wanted to make this a profession after her A-levels. Unfortunately, however, she had to realize that the possibilities for this were rather limited in Germany and that there were only few alternatives: ecclesiastical or industrial embroidery. Or the art academy, where the accent is on design and not technique.
Especially embroidery has fascinated BIZ from the very beginning and she was quite sad that the former art of embroidery is nowadays more or less reduced to cross-stitch or tapestry work and that it is difficult to get information about the high art of embroidery. Later she learned that the "descent" from the recognized art of embroidery to a housewife's occupation, widely notorious as a profane living room activity with a bad image, was mainly due to the printed patterns of Berlin wool embroideries. In the Middle Ages Germany was still a flourishing stronghold of professional embroidery - how times change.
BIZ then continued to work in mother's room and took as much knowledge as possible from books. She used this knowledge in internships during her studies of social work in various social institutions and was able to see the therapeutic effects of manual work.
After her studies, BIZ completed an apprenticeship at the hotel reception, obtained the Kauffraugehilfenbrief in freight forwarding and worked for a very long time in various areas of banking, logistics and personnel management.
But suddenly "Providence" struck. It took 5 years to persuade BIZ to take a holiday in England...persistence sometimes pays off....in this case absolutely in her favour....In countless old mansions in the southwest of the country, BIZ was once again confronted with the versatility of embroidery after a long time.
A visit to the "Montecute House" in Kent, which has an ongoing exhibition of historical and contemporary embroidery and lace and has just hosted a special exhibition of old samplers from school lessons of days gone by, was the beginning of a new era...
Every lover of fine needlework knows what a treasure trove Britain is in this field - but this collection surpasses everything that BIZ had previously housed. And again and again the name "Royal School of Needlework" appeared. After many futile questions, she found out that if the school still existed, it would have to be in London. To this day it remains a mystery which little devil whispered in her ear, "this is your thing" - but it was right!
Some time later BIZ travelled to London for a first interview - and came back with bright eyes and the prospect of a year of embroidery, embroidery, embroidery and save, save, save. It seemed like a small miracle to her that, despite her almost 40 years, she was able to find a part-time job again and thus earn the cost of the flights to England on Tuesdays. For the rest, she had decided that her pension plan and savings contracts would be better off in this school than in the bank. Life proved her right!
In September 1994 she started - unsuspecting what she had really gotten herself into. Actually BIZ "only" wanted to do something for herself and catapult herself out of the frustration of being unemployed again and again. She wanted to do a training course that "only" benefited her and therefore could not annoy her afterwards if it didn't work out with a better and permanent job... What followed was the most beautiful, exciting and exhausting year of her life. Fear of flying takes on a whole new meaning if you can only do something you care about by flying to London once a week.... Once a week, in a former palace of Henry VIII, sink into the past and learn techniques some of which BIZ had never heard of before.
All efforts were forgotten when BIZ was looking at a new work or planning a new project. She worked in her class together with one English and one Japanese, in the parallel class there were 4 Japanese and one Australian. BIZ deepened her school knowledge of all the basic techniques of traditional embroidery and based on this knowledge she completed further training weeks and weekends at the RSN.
In September 1995, BIZ received her diploma in a formal ceremony at Christie's London auction house, a worthy conclusion to such a valuable time.
Jane Lemon (unfortunately deceased in 2015), one of the most famous English embroidery artists, once said to BIZ in a wonderful conversation: "If you pay close attention at the RSN, you will have everything you need to know about hand embroidery in your luggage. You can build everything on that". How right she was!
Already during her training, BIZ had decided to pass on this knowledge in Germany to people who had no opportunity or were not as crazy as BIZ. With the International School for Textile Arts, founded by BIZ, it is making a major contribution to making the handicraft aspect of embroidery accessible to the general public again. All those who have taken the opportunity to visit the school at exhibitions or events or who have had the courage to simply dive into the unknown profession and book a course are as amazed at the diversity of textile surface design in the embroidery sector as BIZ was when she first visited the Royal School of Needlework. And how delighted they are only when they learn that ancient techniques can be wonderfully adapted to our modern ideas of beauty and aesthetics. No matter whether you prefer to work abstractly or objectively.
BIZ wants to encourage young people in particular to learn a lot in this area, which receives far too little attention, and perhaps even to "stifle" a career opportunity. In order to make this possible for as many people as possible, BIZ has been developing materials for correspondence classes since 1998 and has thus already shown many embroiderers worldwide the way to their own creativity. This path is not easy and requires a good deal of idealism, stamina and cheekiness in the most positive sense - for which it is also very rewarding. Not necessarily from a material point of view...but needlework is not just a pastime, needlework is like meditation. A course participant (no spelling mistake: it was really a man!) once put it in a nutshell: "Embroidery is a pointlessly beautiful thing" - thank you for that wonderful sentence!
And the need for something beautiful and not materially measurable is enormous, especially in our present time, which is not easy in many aspects, and it is important to meet this need. Let the nice virus creative embroidery inspire and infect you - you will never regret it!
In addition to the school, there is also the area of the now world famous Painters Threads, which was also created by BIZ's creativity. Threads, fabrics, bits 'n pieces, nothing is safe from BIZ's joy of dyeing. She has developed a very special technique for painting textile materials, which makes every product unique and creates a whole new feeling of colour in textile projects. In the meantime, the collection has become an integral part of many shops, workshops and publications around the world.
Through the wide range of the collection, BIZ has also made it a source for her students, from which they can draw the variety of materials that are available today, but often difficult to find.
BIZ is looking forward to "positively infecting" many of you, so that soon there will be more crazy people than sourpusses.
A personal matter - WE are looking for YOU
You love colours and working with textile materials. You are fascinated by the variety that you find here on this site and it excites you to help shape it. You have always been looking for a chance to combine your hobby with your professional work. Then this is the right place for you! Clicking on the button will lead you to what you have always been looking for.