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Hand woven British alpaca

Hand woven British alpaca

Carded nettle tops and flax

Carded nettle tops and flax

Hand woven linen yarn

Hand woven linen yarn

I was once a graphic designer with a vivacious interest in photography. A chunk of my time at Central Saint Martins was spent in the dark room and amazingly I didn’t develop any mole-like features; my eyes are not small, neither are my hands overly large. Graduation saw me practise professionally, designing rather than photographing, working for a variety of branding companies in London.

My early thirties saw a swing in a different direction, unrelated and a bit out of the blue. I wanted to learn again and I loved plants and gardening.

Studying horticulture sat alongside my day job, many exclaiming “you should be a garden designer!”. In theory it was the logical path, but I didn’t take it. Instead, I landed a traineeship at a rather large, prestigious Botanic Gardens - Kew. I got a promotion. My clients were plants and much less demanding but as the years ticked by, my urge to leave London was getting greater.

I think fate had a helping hand. Cue the perfect job in the perfect location and in 2011, we all - horse and dog included - moved down to West Sussex. My new job was at Wakehurst, Kew’s other Botanic Garden.

So what about textiles? I seem to attract textiley friends who have skills that trigger envy. I started with wet felting making woolly bowls. Crochet was next and I was also determined to teach myself to knit. Then the idea of weaving materialised and with it a rigid heddle loom (or two). And despite it testing my patience and making me swear loudly, I love linen yarn. Which inevitably leads onto flax and plants, albeit back to front.

So here I am, about to embark on a Foundation Textiles course. I seriously have no idea what’s next or where this will lead but that in itself is pretty exciting.