This page contains some of the most useful and inspiring textile artists and makers used within my teaching. My students have found endless links between their own developing themes and the work of the FABULOUS people on the list below.
I hope you will find them useful too – please check back regularly as the list will be updated whenever I find someone new.
Textile artists and makers who use recycled materials in their work
Susan Stockwell: Uses a range of used papers including maps and currency to create politically charged pieces of work. Stitch is used to fuse elements together. Pieces range from 2D outcomes inspired by maps through to larger installation pieces including dress inspired by historical fashion.
Find more information on Susan Stockwell on her website: http://susanstockwell.co.uk/
Claire Coles: Uses a combination of different vintage wallpapers embellished with free-machine stitching to highlight design details in the wallpaper collage as well as adding extra illustrative elements to create her amazing work.
find more information on Claire Coles on her website: www.clairecolesdesign.co.uk
Jennifer Collier: Uses vintage papers, tea bags, wax and stitch.. as well as an endless list of other lovely stuff too. Her work has developed to become more 3D recently and focuses on recreating everyday objects out of complimenting papers. Jennifer’s work is an ideal point of study for anyone wanting to direct their work towards a fashion outcome.
find out more information on Jennifer Collier on her website: www.jennifercollier.co.uk
Louise Baldwin: Uses a variety of recycled papers and packaging and fabric scraps to create decorative collages. The collages are compacted with machine stitch before being lovingly hand stitched with shapes constructed from simple back-stitch. Louise uses images from her childhood in her work in the form of her simple line ‘drawings’ created with handstitch. This provides an ideal inspiration source for anyone wanting to include subtle childhood references within their work to create a deeper meaning behind the surface decoration.
for more information on Louise Baldwin go to her page on the Crafts Council ‘Photostore’ archive: http://www.photostore.org.uk/seCVPG.aspx?MID=24&TYPE=MAKER
Kirsty Whitlock: Uses modern-day waste and packaging (usually papers and plastics) with stitch and thread to create mixed media textile artworks with a contemporary political narrative. Kirsty’s work looks at the ‘deeper meaning’ of her theme and uses text to highlight key points.
find out more about Kirsty Whitlock on her website: www.kirstywhitlock.com
Natasha Kerr: Uses a range of vintage fabrics and trims combined with old photographs to create ‘family portraits’ and artworks about characters of the past. Natasha has stories for her characters and provides an excellent source of inspiration for anyone wanting to take their work in a more personal direction and include references to family or family history.
find out more about Natasha Kerr on her website: www.natashakerr.co.uk
Su Blackwell: Uses old books and intricate cutwork to create stories and 3D illustrations that bring the text to life. This work can provide inspiration on a number of levels – the use of books as a material for cutting means that imagery can be interpreted by the content of the text and create a direct link with the original source. Su Blackwell’s techniques are also successful when combine with other artists from this list to include elements of stitch on the cut out imagery.
find out more about Su Blackwell on her website: www.sublackwell.co.uk
Betty Pepper: Uses fragments of old clothing and papers combined with stitch and wirework to create sculptural jewellery pieces. Her work is mounted in vintage books to give the pieces more of a story about the past and almost a ‘secretive’ storage space.
find out more about Betty Pepper on her website: www.bettypepper.co.uk
Textile artists and makers who use stitch to create their work
Gillian Bates: Creates her work with collage fabrics in pop colours against a white background before free machine embroidering fine details to depict buildings and people on the surface. Work is predominantly on a seaside theme.
Find out more about Gillian’s work on her website: http://www.gillianbates.co.uk
Charlene Mullen: Uses a monochrome pallet to create stitched city skylines – iconic buildings feature in her work and could easily influence architectural work to develop into stitch.
For a closer look at Charlene’s work, take a look at her website: http://www.charlenemullen.com
Kathy Halper: Creates embroidered pieces based on social media with a lot of quite controversial imagery at times, her work depicts a truce reflection of the teenage obsession with sharing every aspect of their life and excesses online.
For more information on Kathy Harper’s work check out her website:http://www.kathyhalper.com/
Alice Kettle: Uses the sewing machine to ‘paint’ with the thread and create large scale hangings with abstract images. The layers of thread and totally saturated surface of stitch change the properties of the fabric by warping the surface. Alice’s work is truly amazing and mind boggling when you see it up close – even though work on this scale is unlikely to be achieved in a school setting, inspiration can be taken from her technique and use of layered thread colours to create tone and shape.
find out more about Alice Kettle on her website: www.alicekettle.co.uk
Lorna Miller: Uses a variety of media to create her works with a narrative on female body confidence. her free machine nude images can easily be linked to the early work of Alice Kettle with their similar stitch techniques and similar subject matter for anyone wanting to study the female form in stitch. Lorna’s other work include a range of rather fabulous mixed media pieces using vintage stitch equipment as art.
find out more about Lorna Miller on her page on the Crafts Council ‘Photostore’ archive: http://www.photostore.org.uk/seCVPG.aspx?MID=112805&TYPE=MAKER&CAT=MAKER
Audrey Walker: Uses a highly skilled use of hand stitch to create life like stitched portraits. The use of colour within the works creates a sense of depth created by the layering of threads.
find out more about Audrey Walker on her section of the ’62 group’ website: http://www.62group.org.uk/artist/audrey-walker/
Lynn Setterington: Uses simple running stitches to create quilts. Her early work provides an interesting sources of inspiration for students wanting to directly link still life drawings to their developing textiles samples. More recent work has become concerned with eco issues and includes the use of plastics within the stitched surfaces.
find out more about Lynn Setterington on her website: www.lynnsetterington.co.uk
Tilleke Schwarz: Uses a wide variety of stitches to create contemporary ‘doodles’ on the surface of the fabric. The stitches are combined with smaller found objects and text to create really interesting richly embellished surfaces against the bold coloured backing fabrics. The pieces can easily inspire students wanting a different way of presenting their work.
find out more about Tilleke Schwarz on her section of the ’62 group’ website: http://www.62group.org.uk/artist/tilleke-schwarz/
Textile artists and makers who create mixed media and sculptural pieces
Cas Holmes: Uses recycled papers, fabrics, stitch, tea bags, transfer printing etc. to create her pieces. Most work is in the form of a collage background with embellished stitch outlines on top. Cas’s work could easily have easily been placed into either of the above categories due to the amount of stitch and ‘used’ materials within her mixed media pieces.
find out more about Cas Holmes on her website: www.casholmes.textilearts.net or check out her lovely book ‘The Found Object’
Penny Burnfield: Uses scraps of fabrics combined with other everyday objects to create sculptural pieces. Her earlier work based on categorised medical specimens is particularly lovely and truly inspiring for students wanting to create something a little bit different.
find out more about Penny Burnfield on her website: www.penny-burnfield.co.uk
Emily Notman: Uses fabrics, threads, beads, shells and different fusing/stitching techniques to create her fabulous work. Her work is mostly inspired by natural themes with country landscapes and seaside imagery being most prominent. Her more recent work includes a shift towards more comic book inspired imagery – fabric robot collages with free machine embroidered details… stunning!
find out more about Emily Notman on her website: www.emilynotman.co.uk
Nora Fok: Uses knitted nylon and wires combined with natural forms to create truly mind boggling textile artworks. Her earlier pieces are so intricate and can easily inspire small scale knitted or woven pieces created from manmade materials inspired by nature… the ‘dragons’ section of her website is particularly good for nature inspired sculptural textile pieces.
find out more about Nora Fok on her website: www.norafok.com
Textile Artists who use print techniques to create their work
Dawn Dupree: Creates fabulous layered screen print pieces using vibrant pop colours and a wide range of symbols or household objects as a focus point within her work.
For more information on Dawn Dupree’s work take a look at her website: http://www.dawndupree.com/current.html