Delighting in meticulous detail, my illustrative practice explores the importance of storytelling and imagination. I draw with wire, pencil and embroidery, intricately working dense areas of needlepoint stitch over manipulated wire lines. Obsessive repetitions, tiny embroidered marks and rows of traditional cross- stitches are embedded and worked into fine mesh and metal gauze, painting colour with thread. My hand- embroidered tapestries combine and play with wire to form a figurative dialogue. Pensive little pepper pot women lay over subtle backgrounds of hand drawn, screen printed imagery – often framed, always mindful of compositional placement. Drawing on folktales, childhood stories and things of legends, I harness instinctive feelings and traditional craft skills to visually capture the minutiae of a fictional fragment and create considered folkloric narratives that intrigue.
Did you exhibit last years SAT?
No, but I’ve always been wowed by the beautiful line up of work. I was eager to be involved this year and I’m excited for my work to be part of the trail for the first time.
Are you working on anything unusual at the moment? Commissions? New work?
A new collection is unfolding – Clara Days and her Peculiar Ways – the story of a dreamy little wire lady entranced by curiosities and night times of the strange. She wears wire shoes topped with tiny pearls and lays over printed and hand embroidered backgrounds of dusty pinks and juicy dark green threads. In the words of Oscar Wilde “She finds her way by moonlight and sees the dawn before the rest of the world".
What will you be selling at SAT16? Anything new?
New framed and unframed wall pieces and hand embroidered stories, my popular individual wire ladies, embroidered wire birdcages and forests, embroidered sieves and new wearable washers of stitch. New for this summer I’ll have some stitched wire and painted gauze pieces too – hand embroidered garlands and decorations for the home.
What venue are you exhibiting at on the trail?
I’ll be in venue A The Masonic Hall on Tatton Road, exhibiting alongside some of my favourite makers.
What would be your superpower and why?
To be able to thread 30 sewing needles at the same time and keep them all threaded for the entirety of a primary school stitch workshop!
When you aren’t working what do you do?
I walk without a purpose, I make my garden look pretty and I picnic in the woods.
Tell us something we don’t know
I don’t work from a template – my wire drawings happen organically growing from bend to bend. Nor do I use a pattern for my embroidery – I hand stitch into metal gauzes and cloth, intuitively painting colour with thread, putting stitches where I think they need to be. And… I like to pretend that I can shrink to the size of a pepper pot. ‘The woman who was as small as a pepper pot was queen of all the crows in the forest’.