Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I’m a very busy mum with a 3-year-old daughter. I do lots of mum and child things around my work, see friends, visit local farms, and like to go to the beach. I play the piano and love making up songs for my daughter to dance to.
What would be the title of your memoir?
Follow Your Dream. It sounds a bit corny but for years I wanted to carve out a different career from teaching as I knew teaching would burn me out eventually. I visualized becoming self-employed and working from home so I could spend time with my daughter and do something I really enjoyed. I wasn?t entirely sure how it was going to happen but I took very small steps each day in the right direction. I regularly wrote in a notebook of all the things I wanted to achieve. The list included both small goals and larger ones —ones that at the time seemed way out of my league. One goal was to get my work into Habitat and miraculously it happened the week I became a mum!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from several sources: designs from the ’50s and ’60s, Scandinavian design, bits from my parents and simple illustrations from illustrators such as Dick Bruna.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
My partner Jim has been the most influential in my craft as he?s always believed in me, encouraged
me to leave teaching and is always a good, fair critic.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
Although I?ve made things and enjoyed being artistic ever since I was a child, I didn’t know I was an artist/maker until I started to sell things I?d made and continued to do so. I couldn’t really believe it and felt pretty uncomfortable about selling things initially. It was all so new to me because I?d spent five years in music college training to be a music teacher and not an artist. I felt guilty at first that I wasn’t using the skills I?d been trained to use!
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is pretty spontaneous. I go into a cafe and draw a design onto paper. I don?t usually do many versions and the process happens quite quickly. At first I use a 2B pencil and then I go over the design in a black ink pen before rubbing the pencil lines out.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I?d love to peek into the studio of Lucienne Day, famous for her ’50s textiles. I love her designs and style.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
The handmade possession I most cherish is a small painted child?s wooden horse on wheels that my dad made when I was very young. It?s painted red and white and the wheels go round. He had six nieces and six nephews and gave one to each for Christmas!
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
By going out for coffee and cake! A large slice of victoria sponge cake or banoffee pie usually does the trick.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
In ten years time I would like to be designing fabrics for IKEA or Marimekko and also other items such as storage tins, mugs and trays. I also see myself still working in my studio, making items from the fabrics I collect and still doing the odd bit of screen printing, which I can?t ever imagine getting tired of.