Wednesday, 19 November 2014

New Studio

Here are some prints from Honami and me. Inspired by our time together, the colour of the pool (too much algae says the pool man) and an envelope arrived in the post....
It is a bit crowded in our new studio - we are sharing our space with lots of boxes and a boat

New patterns from old

These samples are from my last printing and dyeing session at my old home in Crystal Palace. I was experimenting with simple marks that could transform an existing pattern - using simple resists and indigo. Good bye Crystal Palace and my beautiful garden...

Taking pattern apart with Craftspace

In September I was thrilled to get my first public commission as part of the Craftspace In:site Graduate Festival of Creativity: I had one day to create a piece of work in the grounds of Birmingham Cathedral.

I was inspired by the pattern of the cathedral glass and the young muslim women I found praying there - so I designed a series of patterns that could be overlaid as a way of describing peoples' overlapping experiences and journeys across the Cathedral Square.

I printed these as resists with people passing across the Cathedral Square during the course of the 2nd of September, before letting the print dry and dyeing the whole piece with indigo. We then removed the resist - revealing a new and complex pattern. 

Many people came back to see the final piece and find out how their print had been combined with many others - discovering, I hope a strange and new harmony.

Watch a short film of the work  being created at

Many thanks to Craftspace for giving me this opportunity to continue my community pattern-making experiments, to Honami for making our matching aprons, to Karin for making the journey and to everyone who helped make the print

Monday, 9 June 2014

Recipes for Pattern


Does pattern have to be superficial and imitative or can it capture a fleeting moment, the fingerprint of a place or even the spirit of a person?

My final collection for my BA Textile Design Course at Chelsea College of Art ( is based on five pattern-making experiments that try to answer this question – to find out if pattern can be anything more than skin deep. Together with gardening friends on my local allotments, at Spa Hill in Upper Norwood, I have created five pattern stories that reflect a time, a person and a place. You can read more about their pattern stories at

By collaborating with them, I wanted to create a recipe for pattern-making with soul: a way of using pattern to re-enchant and beguile the eye, encouraging people to look more closely and care more deeply about the world around them.

I found the process of collaborative making intriguing and inspiring. Each person was so very different and each life in its own way was so extraordinary and challenging. As we grew closer and spent more time together - making design decisions about the colour, form and composition of the pattern became clearer and clearer - a bit like a picture coming into focus the longer and more carefully you look at it. 

Looking back - it seems as if the process of making something together was quite straightforward - but actually at the time it was anything but. The process of practical making with my  hands  - printing, dying and stitching, helped me refine the process at each stage.

I learned three (at least) important things about making patterns together - 

1) Begin by exploring the world around you - look closely and as often as you can. Try looking through someone else's eyes. Draw as much as you can and in as many different ways as possible. Take risks and feel the seasons change.

2) Slow down and look for detail. Seek out the overlooked and the ordinary. 

3) Share as much as you can - cups of tea and cake, seeds, advice... Reciprocity helps the process to flourish and grow.

A HUGE thank you to the pattern-makers - Stinky aka Sarah Newton and Isabelle, Eileeen Ward, Beverley and Thabo Witter and Tim Gundry-White. Thanks also to Martin Cleave for the beautiful photographs.

You can meet the pattern makers by watching a short film I made about them at