I’m an architect who used to take herself way too seriously.
I'm an architect who used to take herself way too seriously.
Maisie (my bright red 1972 VW campervan) is occupying too much mental space (I'm redesiging her interior).
I used to volunteer as an army cadet instructor...despite zero military skills or ability to shout, not fall in the mud etc etc!
Always try something new that doesn't fit your persona - you never know what you'll find out about yourself.
What got you started crafting?
I've always crafted in some form or another since I was a small child. Architecture is just crafting on a larger scale than most work in - many years ago I remember the medical students saying that my degree was really 'Blue Peter Studies'!
I'm crafting on a smaller scale with fun hair accessories (mainly for children as they truly appreciate the kitsch, pretty and quirky) now because my small daugher was seriously ill last year. She (and the rest of us) has had a tough year recovering from an illness that brought her very close to death. I've needed to be there for her and architecture is too demanding to be able to do that, hence the small-scale crafting that is so much more flexible.
What is your source of inspiration?
My daughter! She has a real sense of fun and determination and I started off with the kind of hair clips I wanted her to wear.
I generally use the garden as my design source, reinterpreting flowers, butterflies etc with buttons, crochet and stiching techniques.
What have you made recently?
I've recently made some beautiful felt flower and leaf corsages that can also be worn in the hair. I'm really pleased with their vibrant colours and quirkiness but need to work on my costings before I can price them properly.
I've bought some die-cut felt shapes and have remoulded and embellished them to create some lovely, intricate floral pieces. I work like a magpie, taking bits and pieces I have collected from all over and combining them to create something new.
Over the next few weeks I will be looking at taking them to the next level by designing my own fabric bases, possibly having them laser cut to enable more elaborate and original forms.
Where do you sell your crafts presently?
I sell through a couple of local boutiques (The Ice House, a gift boutique on Campo Lane in Sheffield and Miss Kantor, a children's boutique on Sharrowvale road in Sheffield) and also online at Etsy and Folksy.
Why are handmade crafts important to you?
Handmade has history and is part of our heritage. Someone's imagination and care has gone into producing limited or one-off pieces. I really value craftmanships at all levels, whether that is at building or jewellery scale.
Having said that I also place an equal importance on good design and will happily buy a beautiful piece of mass produced design work that could not be built by hand as I believe there is a place for both in my life.