I am a professional textile artist and designer craftsman specialising in Ottoman style kaftans, jackets and decorative throws and wall hangings and recently Giclee prints. I run my business from my studio in my garden.
I was very fortunate to spend my childhood in Africa and Turkey and my passion for Turkish and Ottoman design began when my father was posted to Istanbul for several years and I can clearly remember walking through the Topkapi Palace and marvelling at its amazing opulence and colourful treasures and the regret I felt that we could not go into the Harem as it was closed for renovation!
My mother was an excellent tailor and she encouraged me to sew – I was given my first child’s sewing machine at the age of five and haven’t stopped sewing and making since then. Returning to England in my early teens required a lot of personal adjustment – life here was completely foreign. At school ‘Art’ was traditionally taught and my work was never highly rated, nor was I encouraged, so stitching became a hobby. On leaving school I went into nursing and, once I had qualified, I spent seven years travelling and working in USA, Hong Kong, Australia and the Middle East. Cultural textiles and ceramics have always attracted me – they are usually very colourful, echoing the culture and environment and have a spontaneous quality; their patterns are full of memory and metaphor and link us to a mutual past.
Eleven years ago, once my children had all settled in school, I had the opportunity to study when a friend persuaded me to join her sixth form Textile D/T ‘A’ Level class and I fell in love with learning and product development. My family was still very young and my only recourse to further study was with Opus School of Textile Art – a distance learning school. The Embroidered Textiles degree revolutionised the direction of my art work.
Developing a pattern begins with research into a particular culture and/or textile and from doodling within a framework of lines or shapes my design emerges. I enjoy this rather random, uncontrived approach and with digital printing designs can be printed onto a range of contrasting materials.
OTTOMAN RESEARCH AND DESIGN
I am currently researching Ottoman textiles and ceramic design for kaftans and patterns for digital printing and investigating the symbolism and stories in the motifs and patterns. Delving into cultural textiles and pattern links me with past craftsmen and artists – I like that feeling of membership.
I specialise in figurative felt sculpture and have a developed wet felt method to create a range of sculptures. I teach the technique through online workshops and form my own studio.
- BA (Hons) Embroidered Textiles – Middlesex University 2008
- GTP and Qualified Teacher QTS – Christchurch at Canterbury University 2009
- Prism Art Textiles – 2011 – 2020
- The Society of Designer Craftsmen – MSDC
- Royal Society of Arts – FRSA
Publications and interviews
- Feltmatters – September 2015
- Sussex Life – March 2017
- Felt Magazine December 2020
- Prism Mall Galleries, London 2008 – 2014
- Prism Hoxton Arches Gallery, London 2015 – 2019
- Prism Hiscox Centre, London 2016
- Society of Designer Craftsmen, Mall Galleries London 2009 – 2013
- Pure Arts 2013
- Crowborough Arts Open Studios 2014 – 2017
- Tunbridge Wells Artisans – 2018
- T Wells Gallery. Tunbridge Wells – 2018
Felters Fling, Silver Bay New York USA – 2019