I was lucky to grow up in a creative family, where we spent time learning and using sewing and other textile skills. My sisters and I used my mum’s precious Singer machine constantly, and we always had dress-making projects on the go. I think this formative practical experience, along with a tactile appreciation of using yarns and fabrics, grew into an interest in textile arts, which developed further when I started to studies for a City and Guilds in embroidery.
After some time, I’m returning to some of the techniques that I love. One of these is braiding using an old Japanese technique. This uses elegantly simple equipment, and calming, methodical, repetitive movements. It’s labour intensive, but there are always new possibilities to explore: I love experimenting with different textures and singing colour combinations, whilst combining natural materials – pure silk, with its beautiful lustre and stunning colours, plus beads of glass, silver, pearl or other semi-precious stones.
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