WiRE Doves “in Stitches”

Posted: 19th September 2016

By: WiRE Team

bonadThe beautiful Bonad in the image above was created by the WiRE Doves group. Here Lindsay Trevarthen tells the story:

“When I took over as WiRE Doves network leader, I thought it would be really good to have our own individual logo or a ‘banner’ for our Facebook page and other advertising, and came up with the idea of asking our own Sue Prince, artist extraordinaire, who revived the Swedish folk art form of bonad painting using egg tempera (and now teaches it to the Swedes!).  She agreed to it and asked us to send her our ideas, in any format, so she could incorporate them into the design.  So when we turned up for the meeting at Beechenhill Farm in June, Sue had prepared the outline on linen and then we had fun making the paint using egg yolks and applying it.

“When we met up in June for our picnic in Buxton, Sue presented the completed version to us in One Small Step (owned by WiRE member Nichola Sargeant) and I’ll be using the image to set up a new WiRE Doves Facebook page for members only.  The bonad itself will soon be hanging in Betty’s Sewing Box in Ashbourne – when I get back from holiday and give it to Jackie!  We all think it’s absolutely stunning and are so proud of it!”

Here is a blog post about the creation by Victoria Ward from SME Touchpoints

In June, our networking group (The WiRE Doves) got together at Beechenhill Organic Farm in the Peak District to discover the joys of Bonad painting, steered by Sue Prince, our very own Contemporary, British Folk Artist!


Before we got started on our group project, we needed to make the paint and have a little practice.

There’s a LOT of preparation for Bonad painting, so here’s Sue’s very own recipe for getting started with Bonad painting.

In a nutshell, artists prepare the canvas with homemade Gesso, make the pigment paste for the paint, prepare the egg yolk (the magic ingredient) and then prepare the image onto the canvas.

Luckily, Sue is the organised type and all the hard work was done, so she could do the ‘fun’ bits with us – ie popping the egg yolk!


Our Network Leader, Lindsay Trevarthen had the genius idea for our group to make a canvas in the style of Bonad painting, for our WiRE Doves Facebook profile and the Derbyshire profile on the WiRE website.

Everyone submitted design ideas, paintings, drawings, inspirational words and Sue drew out the design onto the canvas.

The design has ladies holding hands crossing the famous Stepping Stones at Dovedale, with 4 doves at the top, and white bunting to hold the words WIRE DOVES.

All ladies rolled up their sleeves and got stuck in with the painting and as you can see, the outcome was just perfect. (Sue is adding the WIRE DOVES to the bunting, along with some Derbyshire hills in the background to show off our beautiful surroundings!)

Take a look at Sue Prince’s portfolio here – there are squillions of paintings!

Find out more about the WiRE Doves networking group in Derbyshire.