I studied textile design at Batlly School of Art in the 80s before spending eight years designing for a local tile company. After which I took the plunge and opened my own studio offering freelance design services to the wallpaper and textile industry.
I had virtually no money to invest just the offer of a free room above my dads shop , an old desk and paint and paper. I even for a time shared the same phone line as my dad which proved to be a bit challenging at times especially when his assistant answered the phone to Colorolls art director with "hey up me old mate", and then hollered up the stairs to me that some posh geezer was on the blower and to get me skates on.
Good job he had a sense of humour
I built the studio up though and got a really good reputation .
After a couple of years I got my own place and employed talented new designers from college which gave the studio a real buzz. We did regular artwork for Graham and Brown , Coloroll and Mamas and Papas to name a few .
l loved going to mamas and papas as l could take Olivia my 2 year old daughter with me and they didn't mind her crawling around whilst we discussed designs for their latest childrens' bedding range.
New York was one of my most favourite places to go and I loved feeling part of the hustle and bustle walking from building to building with my portfolio on wheels. The hardest part was getting past the quite scary receptionists who really didn't like you just turning up but once you got past them I often got a real welcome and was asked why I hadn't been before to see them !
As technology took over though I must admit I didn't enjoy the designing as much as i'm very much a hands on artist and like to get messy with the paint, glue and paper.
The work that I am doing now suits me perfectly as I can work with materials such as old lace and vintage fabrics which I dye with subtle colours through to more vibrant ones . I then draw out the artwork and paint it loosely so that I have an idea where I want my colours to go l then layer on the fabrics almost using them as the paint . Sometimes an area will have 3 or 4 layers and my poor old machine sounds like a tractor running as it ploughs through the fabric. I finish the work by painting in the detail and adding buttons. I love hunting for suitable fabrics and I often eye stuff up even if someone is wearing it!
I love this kind of work and after many enquiries am going to do workshops to show people my techniques whilst hopefully having an enjoyable day creating !
I will probably be announcing dates and venues soon for May and June . Im hoping to do full days of wonderful creativity with copious amounts of tea, coffee and cake. Now that sounds good to me . Please let me know if you are interested and I will keep in touch about dates.
The other style I do which is hugely popular is the etched artwork. This is a style I used a lot in my wallpaper designs and I just carried it on in my present work. I love doing these as I can personalise the family trees and hearts for people and put in all the special little details like names , birthdays and other memorable dates. Ive included pets ,items to do with their hobbies etc. The list is endless. I did a particularly nice one for a bride who had a large heart done with the church in and then had smaller hearts done for her bridesmaids and mothers. I drew them all a bit different making them all personal to each recipient.
Well I hope you feel you know me a little better now and feel that you would like to follow my creative journey where ever that may take me next xx
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