I was first introduced to weave whilst studying for my BTEC in General Art & Design at Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) back in 1989. It was at CCAD that I first started weaving with paper, providing an early insight into how adaptable woven textiles could be. Exciting textures and structures could be created using the warp as the backbone, opening the door to many exciting possibilities.
After Art College I went on to study BA Hons Craft (Combined Studies) at Manchester Metropolitan University, Crewe and Alsager Campus. There I specialised in Ceramics and Textiles. I was introduced to the floor looms and started working with basket cane, weaving it into a linen warp . Once off the loom the cloth was soaked to soften the cane and moulded around objects. When dried it maintained it’s shape and took on a 3D form. This manipulation of the cloth formed the basis of my degree show.
Post Uni I travelled to India collecting textiles from the Banjara and Rabari tribes. This started a life long love affair with textiles from the Kutch district of Gujarat and a substantial collection. April 1995 I returned to the UK and found employment at a University in the North of England. With a full time job and subsequent family my practice was no longer the main focus in my life. Although my intention had always been to return to a creative practice, as the years progressed and life became more settled I started to believe that part of my life had past by.
When my youngest child started school, I picked up my tapestry frame and started weaving again. I started to wonder how other people achieved an artistic path. Something clicked and I realised the only thing that was stopping me was in fact me. Around the same time a promotion at work gave me enough confidence and a realisation that with dedication, resilience and hard graft I could develop my practice and return to education. And that is where I am today; working towards submitting an application for an MA in Creative Practice. Hoping for a successful application and re-entry into education for a September 2017 start.