Saturday, 28 January 2017

Materials and Techniques

Every couple of weeks or so, someone contacts me to enquire about the materials and techniques I use in my textiles pieces. So, I thought it might be easier to share some information here to answer the questions I am asked the most.
I rarely use anything other than natural fibres and fabrics because of the potential to dye them, my favourites are linen threads, because of their strength and texture and the way they hold their shape. I love fine crochet cotton and adore vintage finds, I particularly enjoy recycling old textiles.

I am very process driven, I love the act of making and am happy to let pieces evolve depending on the materials and techniques I want to use at any given time. Most of my textiles work is very small, I guess that echoes the scale I use in my jewellery. I particularly enjoy repetitive constructed textiles techniques such as crochet and weave, because of the rhythm and pace they encourage. Building up surface texture using hand stitch gives the same feeling of being calm, focused and absorbed in the moment.

I make jewellery as well as textiles pieces because of my enjoyment of the techniques and potential they offer. Metals give the opportunity to experiment with form and structure, as well as clean lines and repeated shapes. I enjoy the contrast of smooth surfaces, cut edges and manipulating positive and negative space that forming metal allows. Combining wire and fabric lets me add structure and manipulate surface qualities as well as explore my fascination with rust.


The overriding themes in all my work encompass growth and decay, from the repetitive forms in the growth patterns of moss and lichen, to the effects of erosion, seen in the formation of pebbles and the way salt corrodes metal to form rust. I am drawn to small details, both my jewellery and textiles pieces are inspired by shapes and patterns seen in nature, especially delicate, fragile and unassuming things. I take photographs all the time, collect inspirational objects wherever I go and absolutely love to draw. My ideas come from all these influences, sometimes I plan pieces before I make, but my favourites are the ones that grow organically as I go along.