News & Updates From The Sussex Guild
I had quite an idyllic childhood, being born in a village on Exmoor, surrounded by woodland moorland and coastline. As a child there was lots to explore. Brought up within a family of animal lovers, there were numerous pets and rescues to care for and nurture, so I was never short of a companion!
My creative journey, and enthusiasm for working with fabric and thread, started early on in my teens when I was introduced to a variety of hand embroidery techniques. Combined with my love of drawing and painting, I soon discovered that stitching, or mark making with thread, allowed me to build exciting textured surfaces.
From a young age I always loved makings things with my hands – sewing; knitting; painting; drawing. Whatever else my school reports said, they always mentioned I was good at ‘handwork’. But life intervenes and during my twenties my handwork lapsed into non-existence as I back-packed my way around the world, intent on adventure.
I am interested in how we look at the world and how we bestow meaning on objects. There is a history to the medium of ceramics which is linked to our industrial heritage and domestic lives. There is an element of the souvenir to my work – not just of a place, but of a time.
I have always made things, ever since I was very young, but have worked professionally as a maker since 1981. I trained as a silversmith and jeweller at Sheffield School of Art, graduating in 1978. I collected old leather cases when at college and used them as props for my degree show. The tutors hated it.
It is a truism that craftsmen and women like making things- it unites us in The Sussex Guild, whatever materials we use. We might have started in many ways- playing with pencil and paper, stitching, getting our hands muddy, or whittling sticks. Some of us might have been persuaded we had a talent for art, others simply liked to do a job as well as we possibly could.