I first became interested in sewing at school, when, in a vain attempt to prevent us from going shopping, any teacher who had a hobby and a free period was forced to teach said hobby to a class of recalcitrant sixth-formers. The very nicest of these classes was Patchwork (thank you Mrs Mead). After some years of quilt-making I saw a piece of Stumpwork (three-dimensional raised embroidery) in a quilting shop and was immediately hooked. I taught myself for a while, but eventually decided I needed more formal tuition, so I joined the Royal School of Needlework (RSN) at Hampton Court Palace, where I studied a range of techniques including Goldwork, Blackwork, Jacobean Crewelwork, Canvaswork, Silk Shading, Whitework, Appliqué, Box Making and Stumpwork. I completed the RSN Certificate in Hand Embroidery, achieving a Merit, and the RSN Diploma, for which I was awarded a Distinction. I also won the 2017 Hilda Watson Prize for Silk Shading. My work has been exhibited at Hampton Court Palace, Hornsey Library, Salisbury Cathedral, Hertfordshire Archives & Library Service and around the country at the Knitting and Stitching Show. My Gallipoli Memorial banner is on permanent display at St Peter & St Paul’s Church, Blandford Forum.
My great love is for the tiny, the complex and the delicate; I am, at heart, a miniaturist, and like nothing more than spending hour upon hour perfecting the intricate details which bring life and narrative to my work. As an antidote to the rapid pace of everyday life, I take pleasure in absorbing myself in the processes and technical challenges of bringing the ideas in my head into tangible being with my needle. I have a particular interest in exploring the history of ordinary lives through the medium of stitch, and bringing contemporary resonance through my work to my understanding of the historical context (or vice versa!). I try to use materials that are second-hand or vintage; or offcuts that would otherwise go to landfill. I have also taken to visible mending, both for environmental reasons and because I really hate shopping. I took up crochet as light relief from stitching, because I can do that in front of the TV!
I live in Hertford with my husband and three daughters.