I am considering going back to college. When I was there first time around, I studied English, Media and Politics. I did a year long PGCE. These were all enjoyable things at the time, but as I've grown older, I've changed.
I'm doing a lot of research into what my next steps would be. I'd LOVE to do the year long art foundation course, but I'm not sure that I have the required drawing skills, to be honest. I really want to push myself, though, and I haven't got 2 or 3 years to do a course in; I need a relatively quick fix. I am passionate about textiles. I love what I do. I want to get better at it, and I want to meet local people who are good at it too. I'd also like to learn what else I might be good at, with the right effort, instruction and opportunity. I'd really, really like to do print making, with a view to printing my own fabric.
I have sent a link to my blog to a college tutor. I don't know if he/she will take a look, but it got me thinking. How do I want to represent myself? What am I most proud of?
I'll tell you my insecurities. I'm worried that my work is parochial and twee and not arty enough. I worry that I'm too old and too frumpy. I worry that I don't have enough talent or skill to make it work in that arena known as "art" rather than "craft"
I love the work I do, but it's work that I do for money, so it's necessarily commercial. Who knows what I would make if I could make something for art's sake?
Would it be any good?
I wonder if I am *really* good at something that I haven't yet discovered. I love sewing, quilting and crocheting. I'm not especially excited about making garments, but making stuff for the home makes me fizz with excitement.
I am inspired by: vintage fabrics, old fashioned household tips, recycling and living more greenly, children's creativity, illustrations from children's books, the changing seasons, beekeeping, the sea.
I enjoy making pieces that are personalised, and also quirky. I like to use domestic styling to shock and compare modern life with past times:
I like stuff that's just a bit different:
..and stuff that's pretty...
All the items I have shown you above have been made since January 2011. There are lots of things of which I am proud from previous years (you may see some of these in the folders on the right --->) However, THIS year I decided to stop working from patterns, and start focussing on making what I want to make. This has been a scary, but liberating, experience but I have learned a great deal.
I'm not sure whether the pieces I have shown you demonstrate a particular style that is demonstrably mine, but they do represent a journey I have undertaken, in which I am striving to do exactly that. I hope, in a year or two more, to get that licked.
Most of all though, I love what I do, and I am extremely lucky to have the time to indulge my passion, and customers who want to buy the things that I make. And for that, I am very grateful.
I feel as though a formal qualification will be part of the next stage of my journey. I want to push the boundaries of what I can achieve, and experiment with new materials, processes and ideas. I want to watch and learn from other people. I want to be able to use equipment beyond what I have at home. I want to grow in confidence - and the feeling of legitimacy - so that I can confidently say "I am an artist" (and believe it)