This year I have launched my YouTube channel, Early Medieval Embroidery, which can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpT8MnTmjYqnk0X6OQoAA_A
This is an exciting project where I post short videos about different aspects of early medieval embroidery and textiles, and my research. I also continue to collaborate with others, posting their monthly contributions to the Early Medieval (mostly) Textiles Blog (see homepage).
Now The Lost Art of the Anglo-Saxon World: the sacred and secular power of embroidery, and my article, ‘Embroidery and its early medieval audience: a case study of sensory engagement’, World Archaeology, are published (see publications), I am now working on an embroidery book of six practical projects ranging from beginner to expert, that readers will be able to make. Each project uses authentic materials, stitches and design elements from the early medieval period. It should be published later this year and when it is I also plan to offer material packs for each of the projects. Keep an eye on Instagram and Twitter for updates.
I have finished stitching the St Cuthbert maniple section (see Instagram: @alexandramakin2), so I am analysing the results of the St Cuthbert Maniple Recreation Project. I plan to publish these through a number of journal articles. Followers can follow progress of the analysis through Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. I have also been giving talks about different aspects of the project, what I have learnt and what will happen next.
In between these projects I am editing a book with Prof. Gale Owen-Crocker. The volume is based on the well received session I organised and ran at the IONA conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2019. At the moment contributors are working hard on their chapters. Keep an eye on the blog and Twitter (@alexandra_makin) for updates.
I am also consulting / advising on a number of textile and embroidery projects, and working as an independent analyst of textiles and embroideries from different contexts.
During 2021 I will be giving papers at conferences in the UK and Finland. I am also giving lectures and presentations to a number of academic and special interest groups around the country.
I am a textile archaeologist specialising in early medieval embroidery. A professional embroiderer with a background in Archaeology and textiles, I originally trained at the Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace, on their three year embroidery apprenticeship. My academic background includes a BA Honours degree in Archaeology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and a PhD in Anglo-Saxon Studies (University of Manchester).
My PhD Research, titled ‘Embroidery and its context in the British Isles and Ireland during the early medieval period (AD 450-1100)’, has led to me being interviewed on various news and TV programs and in newspapers.
I have published my first monograph, a number of papers in edited volumes and articles in popular magazines. I have also given lectures and run workshops on different aspects of embroidery, its history and its wider context to special interest groups and the general public.
My areas of research focus on early medieval material culture, mainly embroidery, but other aspects too. I am particularly fascinated by how material culture entwined with and influenced early medieval life.
I am interested in experimental archaeology and collaborative working methods, and how these can inform our understanding of the objects we find, and data we gather from documentary and visual sources. Such approaches are also important in helping us understand working methods and organisation, and their development during the early medieval period.
I have a special interest in the Bayeux Tapestry which has led to the uncovering of new facts about its embroidering. This research has led to me being interviewed and featured in local and national newspapers both in the UK and Normandy. I have also been interviewed for TV and radio in the UK and Canada.
I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
I am also a member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (affiliate), the European Association for Archaeologists, the Society for Medieval Archaeology, CIETA (Centre International d’etude des Textiles Aciens), EuroWeb, ISSEME (The International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England), EXARC (Experimental Archaeology Group), Archaeological Leather Group, Finds Research Group, The Textile Society, and MEDATS (Medieval Dress and Textiles Society).