I’ve created with fabric and thread right from the very first day I was shown how to use a sewing machine. My grandmothers, mother and step-mother were all very proficient knitters and sewing machine botherers, so I grew up in an environment where those skills were valued and passed on, and having a stash of fabric and wool and other craft materials was completely normal and expected!
I have a City & Guilds Diploma in Machine Embroidery and my sewing machine is my current tool of choice. I do also love a bit of felt-making, and I’m trying to expand my repertoire of hand embroidery stitches. I’m also starting to experiment with acrylic painting, although it does feel rather forbidden as I wasn’t “allowed” to study art at school!
My favourite materials are recycled, pre-loved fabrics, and good quality artisan beads and other bits and pieces. Vintage fabric prints remind me of my childhood, colourful Indian cottons, sari silks and beads stir my soul, and as all my life I have been surrounded by books and music manuscript, their worn out pages are now incorporated into my art.
I prefer natural, renewable materials, as my eco-warrior side is bothered by the oil used to create synthetic fabrics, and the ocean pollution from synthetic fibres. But I also believe passionately in reducing waste and recycling, so I will use a whole range of fabrics and fibres in my work: I prefer to make something beautiful out of recycled materials of all descriptions, rather than see them thrown away.
The inspiration for my work comes from my love of colour, pattern and texture, the materials and fabrics themselves, wild untamed landscapes, and ethnic art and craft.
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