The Old Post Office Art & Therapy Centre

I have always been interested in textiles ever since childhood fascinated with textures and colours and how things are constructed. Luckily I was taught to sew, crochet and knit before the age of seven this started my journey of discovery; learning that there is more than one way to create something and the possibilities are endless. Studying courses at college, I then continued to do a degree in contemporary textiles at university followed by a PGC in teaching. I have been taught and inspired by many artists, known and unknown which have encouraged me to learn a wide range of skills and not be pigeon holed into one area. I am drawn to hand stitching and creating textures, using different techniques and materials.

About my work

The focus of my work is hand embroidery I use all types of techniques in my work such as appliqué, batik, fabric painting and recycling fabrics. I enjoy creating structures such as circles and spirals; my work is influenced by themes in nature, and the patterns in Gustav Klimt’s images. I like to build up layers of fabrics and stitches to create textured surfaces, incorporating a number of textile techniques such as fusing fabrics, which has produced some really interesting results and all leads back to how I enjoy experimentation with known methods to create something different. My actual preparation before starting an embroidery is quite brief, I draw directly on to my fabric using air erasable pens which fade over a period of time, these allow me to work in a very fast and fluid way meaning a piece of work changes and takes shape as it is made.

I am often asked why I hand stitch and not machine. In fact, I use both but my creativity stems from hand stitching. I have a greater sense of achievement when sewing each stitch rather than a machine creating the stitches for me, I like the imperfections created by hand stitching more than machine stitching that can be too perfect.

The sewing machine can create a stitched line that can be used to construct and visually please. The best piece of advice I could give to someone looking to work in textiles is learn as much as you possibly can about basics, once you have the foundations of knowledge about textiles, you can choose an area that you find a special affinity with, and run with it. You’ll never be a master of all trades, but knowing a little about everything will help you discover your particular interest.