For Students

Studio

My studio is usually a complete mess!

I get a lot of requests from students to provide information about myself and what inspires my work. So here are some answers to FAQs. Please read these and my About Me , Biography and Inspiration pages before you email me with your questions.

Use of Images

If you are wanting to use my images for your project please credit me as the artist and as the photographer. Images are to be used for personal projects only and not to be copied or used as part of your artwork or used for profit without prior permission from me the artist.

General Info About Me

I was born in 1966 in Gloucester, UK.

I currently live in Birmingham, in the West Midlands.

I studied at Bournville School of Art, Birmingham where I did a Foundation Course in Art and Design in 1984.

I obtained a BA(Honours) Degree in Textiles and Fashion – Chief Study Embroidery at Manchester Polytechnic (Now renamed Manchester Metropolitan University) – I graduated in 1988.

Materials:

  • silk, velvet, felt and tweed
  • acrylic inks and paintmarkers for painting
  • acrylic paint dilutant
  • metallic gutta
  • printing foils
  • sequins
  • threads of rayon, cottons, silk, wool

Techniques:

  • Painting on base fabric with acrylic ink. I use normal paintbrushes, toothbrushes for spattering and ink rollers.
  • Machine stitching – I do free motion embroidery and use pre-programmed stitching patterns to create marks.
  • I am also experimenting with my own digitized embroidery designs to mix in with the other stitching.
  • Hand stitching – I do lots of hand stitching on some pieces, my favourite stitches are feather, chain, seeding, couching, buttonhole cartwheels amongst others.
  • Appliqué – I add scraps of other fabrics onto the base fabric; usually silk, some organza, velvet or whatever seems right at the time.
  • Embellishing with sequins. I sometimes melt the sequins to distort their shapes. I also layer them to create different shapes and colour combinations.
  • Foiling – I add sections of printing foil to the textured surface of my stitches using bondaweb.

Finishing Techniques:

  • I stretch out my work while it is wet to make it as flat as possible – a process called “blocking out”.
  • It is then stretched over a deep box canvas and secured with stainless steel staples at the back. The rough edges are then covered with with bonded felt to make a neat finish.
  • I then attach metal D rings and picture cord to the back so the work is ready to hang on the wall.

Equipment:

  • I have two Husqvarna Viking embroidery machines: a Designer 1, and a Topaz 30.
  • I use wooden frames and aluminium push pins for stretching fabric to paint on.
  • I have a large noticeboard on one wall which I use as a “design board” – it helps me to see what I need to do to the work when I can see it pinned up from a distance.
  • I use a lot of tracing paper and spray tack to move shapes around during the design process.