Thinking, reflection and evaluation is a key part of all my work; I think both through drawing and sketchbooks, as my hands and head connect to produce new imagery, and through research and reflection. Typical moments of inspiration come from many sources: a particularly inspiring archival or fashion image; a glimpse of some unexpected urban wildlife, greenery running riot or graffiti; finding unexpected treasure in museums; exploring diverse cultural heritages and textiles; or the simple tactility of a velvet fabric or heavy embroidery. In 2016 a lecture at the Geffrye Museum about bespoke wall-coverings inspired my research for my new embroidered wallpaper.
My most intricate hand activity is for detailed drawing, careful planning and assembly of my embroideries, for example adding laser cutting and feathers precisely to my digital design, or meticulous pattern cutting and then hand-cutting the fur for embroidery. Using the digital embroidery machine also requires a lot of hand intervention as you set up the fabrics, check tensions, listen to the machine to judge how its running; I would describe myself as a digital artisan using both hand and machine skills to produce my work.
The tactility and conjunction of hand and eye, drawing and fabric, makes my heart happy. I love seeing the imagery developing from inspiration to drawing to reflection, digitising and stitching. I love being involved on all levels, from hand finishing to digital design, in the creation of each of my pieces. Deliberately I bought my own embroidery machine (which is effectively my third hand), so that I can fully control, develop and manipulate each stage of my process intricately.
I embrace opportunities for artisan and audience to meet and interact through both process and exhibition of beautiful contemporary craftsmanship.