Future of Craft

Michelle House

What do you do and what are you most proud of in your making/designing history?

I’m a textile artist and designer who has been creating unique textile artworks for over twenty years. I’m a longstanding member of both Design-Nation, Contemporary Applied Arts and the 62 Group of Textile Artists, and have exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. Exhibitions include Collect, SOFA in Chicago, Ruthin Crafts Centre, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Stroud International Textiles Festival, a solo exhibition at Bankfield Museum and representing the UK in a printed textile exhibition at Gallerie Handwerk Munich. My work has been commissioned and collected by clients such as Kit Kemp (Firmdale Hotels), Peter Jones, Paintings in Hospitals and the NHS. My most recent commission was for the British Academy’s art collection, for which I was recommended by Sir Nicholas Goodison.

Where do you work and what materials do you prefer/get most inspired by?

Working from my studio in South London I use dyes and pigments to print and paint onto natural fabrics. Combining photographic and hand-cut paper stencils to screen-print and paint layered artworks, I produce wall-hangings and smaller artworks stretched over frames. The meticulous piecing together of differently textured fabrics are also a feature of my work. From home I digitally design and plan new artworks, draw preparatory sketches and do any ‘clean’ work such as sewing. Inspiration comes from architecture, colour, the print process and the act of making.

What do think will be important or significant for craft practice in general in the future?

Keeping alive traditional craft skills alongside new technology. Adopting and adjusting to ensure more sustainable practices.

What are your own aspirations for the next five years?

To keep on pushing my work in new directions, be it the subject matter, scale, material or format, and to try my hand at designing some rugs.

Michelle has been a member of Design-Nation since 2003.