Early Influences

My mother was the first person to really help and inspire me with embroidery. She was the one who made me my first sewing kit, some of which I still have. A little felt needle case in the shape of a hat, the crown holding a thimble, a cover for a small pair of scissors and a little felt book with pockets to hold packets of hooks and eyes and tailors chalk, the cover embroidered with my name in pink chain stitch. My mother had made some needlework samples at college and one of them was a small embroidered drawstring bag. I remember studying it closely as a child, its textures and colours – it was stitched in a band with blue and silver and had little tassels on the ends of the drawstring. My mother encouraged me to draw and paint, to make models and collage and helped me make my first clothes and knitted scarf for my teddy! Mum gave me some small embroidery booklets that showed different stitches. I remember reading them before I went to sleep at night – following the lines and shapes of the patterns over and over.

My father gave me a wooden hand made needlework box for my embroidery threads and I collected fabric scraps, ribbons, sequins, beads and other decorative objects like buttons and jewellery findings. Fabric collage became something I loved as well as constant drawing of things and people around me. I had an obsession with geometric shapes and patterns fostered by a tangram kit my dad gave me – I played with it for hours, challenging myself to create meaning out of the endless combinations of simple shapes. I also loved Altair design pads which are colouring books featuring geometric patterns based on Islamic designs. The magic of these colouring books is that the more you look at the designs, the more patterns seem to pop out appearing and dissolving before your eyes. I spent many happy hours colouring these in around the age of 7-8 and was always thinking about the colour combinations and how to make them pleasing.

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Nicky Perryman

Hey, I'm a textile artist based in the UK. I like playing around with fabric paint, stitching both hand and machine embroidery and I have far too many sequins. I'm inspired by nature, its mysteries, subtleties, delights and complexities. The outer natural world has its counterpart in the inner spiritual world and I am also inspired by folklore, poetry, fairytales, stories of long ago when the spirits of nature seemed less shy than they do today, as well as my own shamanic journeys into the dreamland.


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    this is a nice turquoise silk isn’t it?!

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      it certainly is!

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