Not sure which skill set you want to improve on/learn? Learn more about the different hand embroidery techniques by viewing my portfolio.
As well as Day Classes, the Certificate and Diploma, Summer Intensive Certificate and the Degree modules at Hampton Court Palace, I have taught at the Victoria and Albert Museum, The British Library and The Royal Free Hospital. Currently I have a studio at Lancaster Castle though I spend a lot of my time teaching and embroidering elsewhere. I run workshops and teach classes for the RSN, at Hampton Court and in Lancaster. Recently I've taught at The Brewery Arts in Kendal; Swallows and Artisans, Coniston; Farfield Mill Sedbergh; and Cumbria's Museum of Military Life in Carlisle to name a few. I also run Embroidery Groups in Kendal and Lancaster. Alongside that I continue to exhibit, recently I've curated exhibitions at Farfield Mill, at Cumbria's Museum of Military Life in Carlisle, and Lancaster Castle. And I found time to do online courses for the RSN and for the School of Stitched Textile, host a holiday for Colouricious and talks for embroidery groups. During Covid I've also taught and tutored online. When I'm not busy with all this I love undertaking renovations, and have done work ranging from samplers to a Shabraque for the Parachute Regiment's pony. This versatility came in handy working as an expert with the BBC One Programme The Repair Shop. It's busy but great fun.
A long term love of beautiful older embroidery and fabric lead me to the joys of repair. Deciding what makes sense for the object is only the first step in a journey. What sort of repair? What's the balance of repair and conservation? Does renovation make sense. The intricacies of the repair itself follow. Working on the repair shop added a whole new level.
I was lucky enough to work on several high profile commissions with the RSN: an evening gown designed by Nicholas Oakwell Couture for the GREAT Britain campaign, Magna Carta (an embroidery) by Cornelia Parker, the Game of Thrones "Hardhome Embroidery” and Burberry’s Makers House in partnership with The New Craftsmen.
Loving what I do
I have had many jobs and experiences throughout my life but have at last found something about which I am truly passionate - there is always something new to learn and a generous spirited community of embroiderers who are happy to share their wealth of knowledge. Since starting up on my own I've found that I can combine a love of art and design, the buzz of creativity that comes from mastering the skills and techniques of embroidery, and the pleasure of sharing this with many lovely people.
In the late nineties I decided to revisit education, having not enjoyed it the first time round; and studied for an art history degree at Lancaster University. It was a revelation that learning something could be enjoyable. Having followed my husband around the globe we ended up in London where I took the opportunity to complete the three year Future Tutor Programme run by The Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace.
From caring for sheep to caring for people
After my introduction to hill farming I moved on to study nursing at Leeds General Infirmary; ending up running an operating theatre in Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps. Perhaps my experience stitching up people presaged my interest in embroidery!
Growing up farming
After leaving school I worked on my parents’ farm - Hebblethwaite Hall, Sedbergh. I loved working with the sheep; after a back-breaking day of clipping your hands would be filthy, but soft from the lanolin in the fleeces.