After graduating from West Surrey College of Art and Design with a degree in woven textiles, I worked as a designer for Morgan and Oates in Herefordshire. This gave me an invaluable insight into all aspects of working in a design studio and the processes involved in commission weaving.
After four years there I started my own business producing limited edition ranges of wool scarves and throws.
I design on a 16 shaft Louet Megado dobby loom in my Surrey workshop, for production (mostly in limited editions of up to 12 of each colour) on a power loom in a Yorkshire mill.
I hand weave a sample piece of each design and colour, then I calculate yarn quantities for production, have the yarns dyed, and I produce very detailed specifications for the mill. I work very closely with them to achieve the same finish as my hand woven samples.
Using power looms for small-scale production means I can concentrate on the designing, which is the part of the weaving process I enjoy most..not weaving metres and metres of the same design.
Inspiration for my work comes from observation of everything around me. I see something that gives me an idea, I then put a series of warps onto the loom and play with constructions and colours...and so the design evolves as I work.
Since being a child I have had a real passion for colour. I love the restrictions of weaving, and capabilities of colours to change when one crosses another.
My yarns are fleece dyed, enabling the blending of fibres during the spinning process. This makes for greater depth of colour and light reflection in the fabric.
I work almost exclusively in wool, which is a natural, sustainable, renewable, hard wearing, bio-degradable, and therefore a compostable resource. It is naturally flame retardant, wicks away moisture, is temperature regulating and naturally hypoallergenic. The natural oils in wool make it water repellant, insulating, stain resistant, and anti static...and it is therefore perfect for wearing next to the skin and for soft furnishings.
Wool from the Merino sheep is super fine and has a long 'staple', making it resistant to 'pilling' and super soft.
I use Australian Merino lambswool because the climate in the southern hemisphere produces the best, high quality soft fleeces...and it is absolutely lovely to work with.
The sheep are raised on high welfare farms, certified by The Woolmark Company.
I am a supporter of The Campaign For Wool
In 2007 my family and I moved to The Weaving House - built in 1896, during the Arts and Crafts Movement, as a weaving workshop for Haslemere Peasant Industries. Peasant Tapestries (applique hangings) woven and stitched here are on display in the Arts & Crafts Gallery at the V&A Museum in London. I am very excited to bring weaving back to the house, and also to have had my work on sale in the V&A Museum shop!
I exhibit at shows and sell through selected stockists around the country.