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My favourite thing to do when I’ve finished a piece of work is to close my eyes and run my hands over the stitching. I love the texture of embroidery as much as how it looks.
I really enjoy the simplicity of hand embroidery. All you need is fabric, thread, needles, and scissors and you can create something beautiful.
More recently I have also come to love the speed and freedom that freehand machine embroidery offers. It’s opened up a whole new world of textile excitement. It’s broadened my outlook on the medium and now I mix up paint, print, machine and hand embroidery to create my pieces.
I’m a self-taught artist and although in hindsight I would have loved to have studied textiles, instead I studied geography and went on to train and work as a newspaper journalist. But I like to think now that my textile work reflects my early career - my maps are all about a sense of place and stitching memories into a landscape and my portraits echo my interest in people and their lives.
Right now I work alongside five other very talented artists where we sell our work in a shop and gallery called Fig in Bristol. We run it together as a co-operative and share all the responsibilities and costs which works brilliantly. We've been there for eight years now and have even been voted as one of the top ten best independent shops in Bristol by The Guardian. (I can boast because it’s not all about me)
I make all my pieces in a shared studio at the bottom of the garden. It’s probably better to describe it as a heated shed, but at least I can store all my bits and bobs in one place. My husband has one end of the shed, and I get the other (neater) side. I’ve got a lovely view of our tiny garden and a huge skylight through which I can see the waving boughs of next door’s pear tree. Sometimes I choose to work in the kitchen as we’ve got a big table where I can spread out larger pieces of work more easily, (and I have access to the coffee pot).
I’m a mum of two - one teenager and one nearly-teenager, which is wonderful/stressful/magical/tearful but ultimately great. We’ve also got a fat cat and a skinny whippet. The fat cat likes to climb on my lap when I’m stitching and the skinny whippet forces me to get outside every day and lose myself for a while.
I love to work to commission. If you would like a portrait made or a map stitched of somewhere personal to you, please get in touch.