Why mass-produced? Why own a product that everyone else has? It’s so impersonal and boring. I would hate for a friend to visit my home and say ‘Oh we’ve got that in our lounge’. The following season, items are replaced with the new mass-produced predicted fashions. Additionally, handmade products are better quality, because so much care and thought is invested by the creator. I believe in supporting local communities and the UK economy.
I am a secondary school teacher of Textiles and Art in the UK. I love the beach and beautiful scenery, I love the colour and atmosphere. I am a single mum with a full time job and I craft in all my spare time. I want to own a gallery/crafts shop in a beach location.
What got you started crafting?
I have been making and creating anything since I can remember. I can remember pre-school age I made a large collection of 'toilet-roll people' with whom I used to play under out dining room table. After that I progressed to making clothes for my dollies, dresses with matching hats and bags. I crocheted blankets and knitted jumpers for them too. Then I branched out into breeding budgies and growing bedding plants, anything where I could spend time inputting energy and outputting sales! Then as a teenager I began making christmas gifts, a basket of toiletries prettily arranged with a ribbon, and my dad took orders for me at his place of work, so I was working to commission.
At school I took GCSE art which progressed to A Level Art and I specialised in Textiles. From there I took an Art foundation, and despite being advised to specialise in Fine Art because of my painting and drawing skills, I decided to specialise in my love of Textiles. At university, I followed the Textiles route again and did a degree in Knitwear Design and Production.
Becoming a teacher has inspired me to renew my crafting hobbies, particularly teaching A Level Textiles Art. Textiles Art allows me to combine my artistic skills with my making ability. I got jealous of watching my students have all the fun, so began making at home.
What is your source of inspiration?
Mainly colour, texture and movement. I love using the beach as inspiration, but I mainly research textured surfaces such as: tree bark (Portugal has the most beautifully coloured tree barks, amazing!), rust, lichen, stone, precious rocks etc. My latest range has been inspired by the tree bark and knots.
However, I strongly believe in creating products from recycled materials, and this is another avenue I am enjoying exploring.
What have you made recently?
The latest items: a pair of 'Tutti Frutti' scatter cushions made from recycled material, in quirky oversized flora and foliage prints. I enjoyed choosing the parts of the prints to piece together, matching colours and creating a product that is a one-off original piece. It is satisfying knowing that I have created a beautiful product from fabric that was destined for a landfill site, and in the process contributed towards the environment in a positive manner.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
So far, I have sold my art/crafts gifts at home parties, and also by visiting companies and setting up displays. This year I am researching craft fairs and have a couple lined up. I have recently also set-up my website.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
Why mass-produced? Why own a product that everyone else has? It's so impersonal and boring. I would hate for a friend to visit my home and say 'Oh we've got that in our lounge'. The following season, items are replaced with the new mass-produced predicted fashions. Additionally, handmade products are better quality, because so much care and thought is invested by the creator. I believe in supporting local communities and the UK economy.