I can never remember a time when I didn’t have yarn, threads and needles of some sort in my hand. One of my earliest memories is sitting in the playground at about six years old busily knitting sweaters for a favourite teddy!
Following GCEs and A Levels I rather disgraced my Grammar School by deciding to go to Brighton Art College – an obvious den of iniquity! I spent three years on a Design and Pattern Cutting course, finally leaving to become a designer for IPC magazines in London. It was a time when women’s magazinesoffered not only dress patterns but also complete garments already cut out and ready to sew. Toward the end of my time at IPC I tended to specialise in children’s wear.
Therefore, it seemed an obvious step, following the birth of my first child, to become a freelance children’s designer. I combined this with teaching adults design and pattern cutting at Crawley College. I really enjoyed this venture as my students ages ranged from 16 to 74, and all ages in between.
A little later, to fit in with my growing family, I changed direction slightly and developed a flourishing business as a designer and maker of bridal wear. Fortunately I was able to have a separate workroom, otherwise it would have been an impossibility with four young children.
In the early 90’s I began work at a local Middle School, where I still am. I am greatly involved in the textile projects throughout the school and also have a lively and active after school Textile Group. Over the time the children have exhibited their work at Alexander Palace, Olympia and Birmingham.
In 2000, as part of my own textile development, I joined an experimental Textile Course at the Connaught Centre in Hove. I achieved an OCN Level 3 in 2001, and continued to study with Kim Thittichai, on a part-time basis for a further three years. Kim enabled me to have a sense of freedom with textiles – no boundaries or limits – a great deal of my work to date has been large and 3-D. However, for this Open House – I have concentrated on the small and hand held – now a days quite a challenge for me!
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