In my creative life I have had the most wonderful journeys. I began life as a dancer but it was when I moved into choreography that I started to see design, textile, colour, highlight etc etc. I am not sure that I have ever left that space but in recent years I think I might have found my most natural of homes. Working creatively with textiles seems to have brought together all the threads of my creative existence and I feel that I belong. Training at night school in surface design while working my way out of my academic job at the University of Winchester was possibly the best creative decision I have ever made. The freedom I found there from the very best of teachers gave me the confidence to experiment.
I have been selling my textile work for over 20 years now and the learning goes on. It was when I had my own shop that focused on fair trade items from all corners of the world that I really learnt about the importance of colour and texture in textiles and also the ability they have to tell a story. In most recent years I have been restricted to selling just my own work but in the last few months everything has changed. It wasn’t an eureka moment, it was more of a slow burning desire to return to what I know and love. Presenting my work alongside other textile artisans feels like it is my creative destiny – it also feels like the last and everlasting part of my creative journey.
I have no real desire to move from textiles but my appetite for experimentation has never been more acute. Regular readers will know of my fibre bowls that use all manner of waste materials to create one off bowls straight from the sewing machine. A recent visits from very old and dear friends has persuaded me to return to this space and extend what can be achieved in this area of my work. Beyond that I have been creating my own fabric through a range of painting, printing and stitching work and this work, in particular, gave birth to Earth Threads.
Earth Threads will be my swan song. I may just sing it for sometime. I have no intention of ever stopping work but I am taking Earth Threads with me as I move into a different stage of my life. Earth Threads is a place where I hope people will find beautiful textile gifts drawing on a range of techniques that have inspired artisans from different corners of the world. India is my favourite place beyond my own shores and I am delighted to be including work from artisans who live and work in communities that need support. Their work and our purchases support many families and their stories are memorable and precious. It is a complete privilege to welcome all my artisans to Earth Threads and you can expect this bit of business to develop over time.
Arguably, for the first time I am happy to put my own work alongside the work of these talented textile artists and I hope that the combination is what makes Earth Threads whole. I have used the island that I call home as my starting point and that familiarity coupled with a love of natural and undisturbed landscapes and habitats has given me a new creative voice. Only you will know if you like it.
Earth Threads is an online space that in the form of a shop that launches on the Summer Solstice (21st June) at 7pm and I hope you might float about the site around then to see what you think. If you linger occasionally in facebook you can become part of the build up on my Scottish island mum Facebook Page.
One of my collections is dedicated to you and all your creative friends. My newly designed textile based kits allow you to experiment with your own creativity and make something as part of our shared commitment to textiles. The name, Earth Threads, is a deliberate attempt to tread lightly on the planet with this new space and so I have paid a lot of attention to recycled packaging, sustainable dyes and fabrics and upcycling (a personal obsession).
This is not your bulk buying, rapid delivery option. A lot of what I offer will be made to order as will become clear as you use the site. If something is out of stock and you want one just message me and I will prioritise making one for you and despatching.
I live on a Scottish island where the wind likes to blow meaning the ferry sometimes doesn’t sail. In these instances deliveries might be a wee bit delayed but I believe that good communication with you will see us through this particular hurdle – that and the best postmistress on the planet. What you can be absolutely sure of is excellent customer service from a wee team that really cares. I am supported by a wonderful and long suffering family who will help me get things to where they need to be.
You can expect things to change often in Earth Threads. New designs, new artisans and new products will pop up regularly so do keep an eye on our collections and let me know what you think. It is not a space that will stand still for long but gentle pauses will be followed by new creative collaborations while always true to experimentation. An ambition is to create an online shop that is truly unique and can never the repeated. Let’s see how I get on….
Many, many people have got me this far and I will owe them forever. I really hope you like Earth Threads.