I first remember doing things with fabrics when I was about eight. I was in the Brownies and for one of my badges I made an apron, learning to use Mum's sewing machine and doing some cross-stitch round the borders. I swiftly moved on to making things for Christmas presents but have to confess that in those days I lacked an awareness of purpose and style. I remember making Dad a little cotton bag shaped like an envelope and fastened with a press-stud; the front was embroidered with the word "SNAPS". I think he still has the bag but I'm sure there's never been a photo inside it.
I always loved the textures and colours of fabrics and started collecting scraps from Mum's dressmaking 'in case they could be made into something'. Now I have a huge wooden trunk and several large plastic crates full of fabrics that might be made into something but my attention has been directed much more towards making, colouring or embellishing the fabrics themselves rather than using them to make things.
My interest in weaving having faded, I began making highly textured embroidered pictures in the eighties, inspired by landscapes and plants. Some of the pieces were fairly abstract and this led naturally to making textile mirror frames, where I first started using silk paints rather than artists watercolours to colour the fabrics. Within a few years I had moved on to wallhangings, some of which I am still making now. The wallhangings use silk painting, appliqué, machine and hand embroidery and a rich mixture of colour and metallic threads and beads.
More recently I've begun to 'unpick' these elements and explore the techniques in more depth. Silk "canvasses" are painted and machine embroidered and the silk scarves just painted and, although they are not made of fabric as such, I've also returned to my fashion roots at college by making earrings to complement the scarves.
Through all my textiles work my central passion is colour.