About Me

Present:

Now my first book, ‘The Lost Art of the Anglo-Saxon World: the sacred and secular power of embroidery’, is out (see blog), I am concentrating on the Cuthbert recreation project (also see blog and Instagram: @alexandramakin2). I am also working on an article exploring how people viewed embroidery in early medieval England, which I hope will be published later this year. In between these projects I am in the early stages of organising an edited volume based on the well received session I organised and ran at the IONA conference in Vancouver, Canada, last April. Keep an eye on the blog and Twitter (@alexandra_makin) for updates.

I am consulting / advising on a number of textile and embroidery projects, and working as an independent analyst of textiles and embroideries from different contexts.

During 2020 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.

Background:

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.

Research Interests:

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 how this 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.

Groups:

I am 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).

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