My fascination and love of creating things began from a very young age. I lovingly made and presented my Mum with numerous gifts over the years, handmade in whichever craft I was taken with at that moment, be it knitting, crochet, beading, papier-mâché, etc. She always received them with great pleasure and it gave me immense satisfaction to have created a unique piece - just for her. I still like nothing more than creating individual pieces and seeing the joy that people get from the work I have created.
That love of the artistic process saw me pursue a creative career, firstly studying art and dressmaking at school before moving on to an art foundation course, a fashion design course and finally a BA (Hons) degree in structural textile design, with specialisms in weaving and knitting.
Before starting my degree I had never used a loom or knitting machine, but once I did I was hooked. I had always made clothes, but from shop bought fabrics which were sometimes not quite what I was looking for. So, the opportunity to design and create the fabric in the colours and textures of my choosing was revolutionary for me. The possibilities suddenly became endless and each combination of colours could be merged and mingled in differing proportions to produce exciting and truly individual cloth.
I am absolutely passionate about textile design and love the feeling of starting with nothing more than an idea and turning that into a beautiful, tactile piece of cloth that can then be transformed into a wearable, usable or decorative artefact.
My work is always based around colour and texture - particularly those found in nature. Whenever I am out and about, whether it is in the countryside or town or even just in the back garden I take photographs of the colours and textures that inspire me; building a library of inspiration to call upon at any time.
It has long been a joke in my family that a walk through a beautiful dramatic rural landscape can be summed up in one often repeated sentence; “yes we know you can weave, knit and felt it!”
Alongside designing, I have worked in adult education for 20+ years and have taught a variety of accredited and non-accredited textile courses.
Throughout my creative life I have been very fortunate to have been taught by some very talented and inspiring tutors and this was one of my reasons for entering into adult education. Central to my journey as a textile designer is a desire to share the passion I have for my craft - to be that 'inspiring tutor' - encouraging those starting on their own creative journey and developing those already on their pathway.
For me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone go from saying 'I am useless at sewing' (knitting, etc.) to watching the smile appear on their face when they produce a wearable / usable piece of work they can enjoy and proudly show to others.