It’s been a long road from there to here… I spent many years working in various jobs, mainly in IT before I was dragged along to an art materials exhibition by a friend and saw someone demonstrating silk painting. The colours she was using were amazing – rich vibrant colour on a shimmering fabric.
So I started my textile work with silk painting, then added batik and shibori to various dyeing methods, including procion dyeing and indigo. I use a number of different screen printing techniques including the wonderful breakdown screen printing.
For many years I’ve produced cyanotypes on fabric, a photographic process from 1843 which gives beautiful prussian blue and white images. This was the subject of my first book revised and re-printed in 2016, and is still a firm favourite. I also use digital images and design methods in my work. Since I spent 20 years working with IT I’m very comfortable with combining digital techniques and textiles and this formed the subject of my second book, Digital Imagery on Fabric.
More recently I’ve become hooked on making books. I went on a one day workshop with a brilliant binder called Glenn Malkin – we took a pile of paper, some board, a length of thread, a piece of book cloth and some very basic tools and created a proper hard back book! I was thoroughly hooked and have studied with Glenn and other binders ever since. Through Glenn I discovered the Grange a beautiful centre that specialises in book related skills – book binding, Letterpress and marbling. I am investigating various book forms, with multi-needle coptic binding a current favourite, and enjoy converting my own fabrics into book cloth to use on the books I make.
I’ve been teaching textile workshops for many years now and thoroughly enjoy passing on my knowledge and experience to my students. I get such a ‘buzz’ from seeing what they achieve. Now I’m teaching them to make books as well …