Textiles Anyone was established in 2000 when I took the plunge and decided to leave my ‘safe’ job teaching and go into the studio full time. The core of the business then was the creating of a range of textile based jewellery and fashion accessories.
Over the last few years TA has expanded and now has two distinct, but related, facets. While the studio work remains tremendously important to me, I can’t imagine ever being completely fibre free, publishing my own books and those of others is now an integral part of the business.
My love of textiles started many years ago when my grandmother introduced me to the sewing machine. At four years old this was magical- you took two bits of fabric, stitched them together and you had clothes. This led me to train initially as a dressmaker and later as a high school textiles teacher. I thought that my journey through textiles would be straightforward from then on; instead there have been many twists and turns.
Like many lovers of textiles I have explored a variety of techniques, some of which have been incorporated into my work, while others, it would seem, have been a passing interest. There are, though, some common themes; I believe strongly in learning the ‘right way to do things’ before I head off and break all the rules; and that a skill once learned should be passed on.
Discovering my enjoyment of writing and publishing has provided a welcome diversion from the studio. Using the skills I have learned in this area, to help others realise their dream of publishing, is extremely rewarding.
I can’t explain my interest in the crafts that have traditionally been considered ‘women’s work’, but I have found an unexpected enjoyment in the skills involved with preserving, baking and embroidery. The more I have explored these crafts the more aware I have become of the importance of keeping these skills alive.
One of the unusual crafts I enjoy is tatting, the creation of lace using a shuttle and thread in combination with patterns of knots. The enjoyment comes, in part, from the simplicity of technique and in part from the fact that the finished lace is purely decorative.
In recent years I have been exploring the no less traditional crafts of feltmaking, freeform embroidery and bookbinding but with a contemporary feel; while continuing my interest in mastering the traditional methods before experimenting with the techniques.
My interest in proofreading started with the first edition of Textiles Anyone Craft Directory when I was asked to help. Discovering that I enjoyed the precise nature of the work I continued to pursue it, formalising my qualifications this year.
Meet the team