I decided to make a FAQ, purely because I refer people to this blog to get an idea of my work and sometimes there’s a lot of text for them to scroll through, plus it means people won’t have to go back through a load of pages to see if I’ve already answered something. I’ll still try to answer all questions I get privately and I’ll keep adding to this so that it’s all in one place!
How did you learn to embroider/sew?
I’ve learned mostly from trial and error, usually I’ll draw out what I want to sew first and try to work out in the sketch how I would stitch to get the effect I want. I also try to look at work I admire and figure out how they did it - this especially helpful when I’m working on something 3D
How long does a piece take you?
Anything from a couple of days to 2-3 weeks. Usually the planning stage takes the most time, once I’ve got everything hammered out the actual sewing doesn’t take long.
What materials do you use?
I mostly sew on an off white calico, if its dyed I use powder dyes. Generally I used embroidery thread for text and sewing thread for everything else, but it’s not set in stone.
Where/what did you study?
I studied Illustration at the University of the West of England, in Bristol.
Do you have any advice for making 3D patterns?
I usually start by doing a lot of sketches and working out what aspects of something I want to focus on (long legs, the shape of the neck, that sort of thing). Next I get a pile of newspaper and make a mock up of what I want, this stage usually involves a lot of trimming and redrawing shapes until it comes out right.
I always try to reduce what I’m making down to as few pieces as possible - the deer and dog pattern, for example, is only three different pieces off fabric (it’d be two if I had my way, but I haven’t got there yet). I find this helps stop me from over complicating things and makes the final product cleaner and sturdier.
What illustrators and artists inspire you?
Some I always check regularly are -
Some of my favourite traditional artists are John Singer Sargent, John William Waterhouse, Gustav Klimt and John Everett Millais.