I’m a Textile Artist. I trained years ago at Goldsmiths College in London at a time when Textiles as an art form was really just beginning. Then I did a second degree at The Central School of Art and then I qualified as a teacher. I have always loved to make things. I can still remember things I made as a child and the joy it gave me when they worked out well.
I have concentrated on making textile jewellery for about ten years now, and I was really the first person to do so at a professional level. Many Jersey residents are also familiar with my embroidery as I made a series of beautiful jackets for David Gainsborough Roberts a few years ago, which he still wears regularly.
I’m inspired by lots of different things. I love vintage and the quality of craftsmanship of times past. My house is full of forgotten treasures. I love gardening and the exciting combinations of colour and form that nature artlessly delivers. I usually return home from a walk with my grand daughter with a handful of wild flowers and a pocket full of pine cones. Modern textile materials in beautiful colours always inspire me. But perhaps most of all it’s the people I work with, Pat Robson’s endless enthusiasm has often inspired me and the delight of the children I teach, as they see their ideas take form.
There isn’t really a typical work day because all my days are all so varied. But I generally get up early and spend a couple of hours clearing all the computer tasks before breakfast. Then I might dye some felts, put in a bit of work on whatever is most pressing to build up stock, or work on a commission until lunch.
After lunch there may be a workshop to run. I teach holiday workshops and run art/craft parties for children at The Harbour Gallery regularly. I also run adult workshops at the gallery and travel to teach at Denman, the WI’s residential college, several times each year. There are also UK craft fairs every so often and I like to do some of the local markets. Late afternoon/evening I settle down to work on the jewellery again and the days fly by.
I suppose my most popular product is still the small flower pin. It’s not expensive, it’s neat, unusual and quite obviously a hand-made product.
The Harbour Gallery has the best selection of my work on the island and Tourism also keep a small stock. I sell my work directly at some of the St Aubin and Royal Square markets in the warmer months.
I also have a number of UK stockists, including The Ropewalk Gallery, Barton on Humber and Marchmont Hardware, Edinburgh. My website is gemstitch.com