What is it about your making skill that makes you enjoy it so much?
The thrill of transforming plain yarns through painting with the dye materials, followed by the colour and texture formed through the interaction of warp and weft threads in the weaving, is continually fascinating to me.
It makes each piece of work totally unique. I love both the meditative feeling when weaving lengths of silk on my floor loom, and the excitement of hand manipulated weaving with unusual materials for the art pieces.
I enjoy attempting to do something different with weaving techniques. I try to create weaves that have different form, drape, transparency and colour effects.
What does it mean to you personally and the way you live your life?
I love walking, particularly on the coast, and absorbing the colours and atmosphere which translate into my work. I am fascinated by the changes in nature such as tides, weather and seasons. I enjoy this time spent outdoors, then being able to retreat to my studio space to interpret these experiences.
What has been your greatest making achievement?
I am proud that my hand woven and hand dyed silk and alpaca shawl was purchased for the permanent textile collection of Norwich Textile Museum. It was made as a contemporary tribute to the famous Norwich shawls of the 19th century. I like to feel part of the long tradition of weaving in Norwich.
What is your favourite piece of equipment and why?
For me, a loom can be anything that holds one set of threads taut whilst another yarn is woven through. I love working on my floor looms creating large scale shawls and hangings. Equally, I enjoy using hand-held improvised looms made from the like of driftwood and metal to make 3D pieces or small tapestry frames. These can be easily transported and used outside. I usually have several projects on the go at once.
What is your favourite making website or blog and why?
I don’t really have a favourite but I like to get inspiration from a variety of sources. I enjoy experimenting with a range of textile techniques from printing to felt-making. I am always looking for new ideas.
Why do you like being part of the Festival?
Working alone in my studio can be very absorbing and satisfying, but I enjoy contrasting this with meeting like-minded people, sharing ideas, getting inspiration, and facilitating others to get pleasure from exploring their creativity and learning new skills.
What is your advice to a complete beginner who wants to have a go at your craft?
Once you have an idea of the basic technique you can experiment with a range of colours, textures and materials. Enjoy the creativity and don’t worry too much at first about the rules. Join a group, take a course or have some lessons. Let your ideas, imagination and skills develop alongside each other – they are all equally important.