I am a Surface Pattern Design and Textile Surfaces tutor, and freelance designer based in Staffordshire.
I have had a passion for textiles of all kinds ever since I was taught to sew by my mum when I was very young, on an old treadle sewing machine. My love of stitching, dressmaking, print and embroidery really began to take shape with a Fashion and Design Diploma at a very inspirational Staffordshire college, back in the 1980s. After many years working as a self employed dressmaker, and also in fashion retail management, I returned to full time education as a mature student, and in 2002 gained a First class Hons Degree in Surface Pattern Design at Staffordshire University, plus three achievement awards. After graduation I attended the ‘New Designers’ exhibition in Islington, London, and gained freelance contracts with a publishing agency and with ‘Tigerprint’ (a division of Hallmark Cards) I was also selected to exhibit with other graduates from around the country at the Wiseman Gallery in Oxford.
I have been a part-time lecturer in Surface Pattern Design and Textile Surfaces at Staffordshire University since January 2007, and have continued to work as a freelance commercial gift wear designer for many different companies and agencies, creating cards, gift wrap, prints and stationery.
In addition, i have recently completed an MA in Higher and Professional Education and gained a Distinction; i have a Post Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Higher and Professional Education, and I became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2011.
My own inspiration comes from a love of colour, history, architecture and nostalgia, and my work is a commercial, contemporary mix of digital and hand applied techniques. I have a wide range of skills, specialising in mixed media collage, colour theory, printing, cut work and stitch; I am passionate about learning new skills and I continue to do so whenever possible!
My dressmaking and tailoring background is a constant support in the creation of two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional forms and structures. I have a strong awareness of current trends in design, and a good understanding of trend forecasting, since writing a dissertation on this subject; this has always greatly influenced my own freelance work and I feel that being able to give advice in this area can often lead to better commercial success for my students.
I feel that I am a confident, patient and committed tutor, with a passion for learning, and I would value the opportunity to give my support and share my enthusiasm; I hope to encourage my students to believe in themselves, to trust in their own ability, to always be eager to learn new skills and develop existing ones, and to be infinitely exited by a future in textile design.