My earliest textile memory was standing on the kitchen table as a three year old while my mother turned up the hem of a coat she was making for me (from a pattern she had drafted herself). I loved the coat but hated the matching bonnet, especially the chin strap. A Noah's ark made by my father was one of many handmade toys I treasured. I guess making things was in the blood!
I first became interested in braiding in the early 80's when I was introduced to Inkle weaving at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. After attending a Summer School on Kumihimo in 1987 & 1989 I was hooked and set up my own business "Arabesque Braids" in 1990. I initially made Kumihimo jewellery and light pulls but since 1994 I have focused on developing kits to involve others of all ages in a variety of braid and cord making. In 1997 I was a founder member of "Braidmakers Workshop" dedicated to demonstrating and teaching, backed up by a wide variety of kits. In the picture I am teaching an Indian woman in Peru to do Fill the gap - and yes, it's a baby on her back.
Did you do French Knitting as a child? What did you do with it? I enjoyed doing it but making things with the result was not inspiring. I was challenged by the group to do something with it and so developed a range of attractive beaded necklaces. In November 2006 I wrote an article in Peoples Friend showing how to make the necklaces and this engendered an enthusiastic response.
Visit the Gallery and Shop to see the range of tools (all with an historic background), kits and finished items for sale
Each month a variety of items will be on offer. These will range from beads and yarns to designer jewellery and completed kit necklaces
You will find all items and more to purchase in the Shop