I have always been a ‘dabbler’ when it comes to textiles and yarn – always ready to try out a new technique, pattern or craft. But with no formal training in textiles, art or design, I’ve gleaned most of my knowledge through workshops, books and City and Guild courses in patchwork and quilting and machine embroidery and just my own experimenting. I had reached the stage were I wanted to channel some of these techniques – but into what?
Then about five years ago I saw an amazing textile art exhibition in Toronto and I was inspired. This is where I could use many of the techniques I had learnt and could even develop some further.
Some things fall into place – there is a rhythm that pulls everything together at the right time. And so this journey began.
What I do
I create pictures of the landscape, trees and their habitat, rocks and pebbles. I want to capture the textures and variety of colours seen in a single tree or a forest, the mood of the environment be it stormy, cold or seasonal. I want my pictures to tell a story – maybe for each person that story will be different
This is a creative journey which is ever changing and I work from a variety of design sources, photos, sketches, memory and my imagination.
How I do it
My pictures are built up with layers of fabric using raw edge applique, net and free machine stitching. I am always looking at ways to develop my work – sometimes this is the result of happy accidents! I have developed techniques for making textured tree bark, the canopy of leaves and vegetation. I have a large stash of fabrics to choose from and favour batik and my own hand dyed cotton with the occasional use of silk. The final stitching emphasises the detail and enriches the texture. Most of my pictures take between 30 and 40 hours to complete, usually over a period of about three weeks.
I am delighted to say that my artwork is now hanging in many homes around the UK and has been shipped to homes in both Australia and Canada.