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Making (a mess!), scribbling, experimenting and constructing have been with me for as long as I can remember.   Whether it was creating cards and home ‘performance’ programmes, stitching clothes for dolls or building precarious structures outside from anything found in my Dad’s workshop, there was always something to be made.

At eighteen I did a Foundation Year at art college, then a degree in printed textiles, subsequently spending four or five years attempting (and failing miserably) to earn a living as a freelance designer.   I had to get a job and found one with Frisk - the graphic art surfaces company – in the days when everything was designed on paper using pens and paint.   I was taken to paper mills and to paint-media factories - that’s when my education in art materials and my love of the tactile qualities of paper began!

Nine years later I started my own business.   The whacky concept of a mobile art shop took me all over the country to all sorts of places where artists of all kinds gather, but it was meeting Val Campbell-Harding at Missenden Abbey that introduced me to the world of creative textile artists.   Something clicked!   Over nearly 35 years the relationship between that world and Art Van Go has grown.


I spent many years as an Art teacher in secondary schools. I taught a wide range of media but never any stitched-based art forms. Therefore, I was very interested, while still working when a friend suggested doing the City and Guilds Certificate in Embroidery, with Opus. I then discovered why, over the years, I had amassed a fair collection of fabrics and threads which had served no obvious purpose until that point. I enjoyed the course immensely and went on to the Diploma course at Great Missenden. This led to course members forming the Work in Progress group, which has been a source of shared ideas, inspiration, techniques and feedback, as well as friendship born of a common interest.

I am a member of HUE Textile Group.



I have always loved arts and crafts, from kits as a child to leading craft clubs during my teaching career in primary schools.  Having taken an embroidery class in adult education with Anne Butcher from the Royal School of Needlework, I was inspired and encouraged to take this further which led to me completing the City and Guilds Certificate and Diploma in Creative Embroidery at Great Missenden.  I loved the courses which allowed me to design, practise a wide range of techniques and understand the history of embroidery in context.  Now I enjoy the freedom to explore, develop and follow my personal interests within the Work in Progress group.


My serious involvement with creative embroidery and mixed media art only started after forty years of teaching English. In my childhood I was surrounded by people who used their hands and who encouraged me to do similarly, and so I have always enjoyed designing and making. City and Guilds qualifications gave me the confidence to work within an exhibiting textile group and I am proud to be part of Work in Progress Textile Group. It pleases me that my recent work incorporates text; after all the years in the classroom it feels like full circle!


I am also a member of HUE Textile Group.




My interest in stitch began when I was very young. I cannot remember a time when I did not sew, knit, draw or paint. I was thrilled to be allowed to use my Mother’s treadle sewing machine. Most of my work at this time was of a practical nature. I completed City and Guilds Embroidery and a Diploma in Stitched Textiles at Windsor; this enabled me to study for a degree in Art for Community, at Roehampton University, followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic and Traditional Arts. I am not sure if when I was younger I could have envisaged how far I would travel on my stitch journey.


I trained in Fashion and Textiles at Hornsey College of Art, during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Following several years of working as a woven furnishings textile designer, combined with teaching adults constructed textiles, I took a two-year sabbatical. During that time my focus was on the handmade: City and Guilds Embroidery and Traditional and Modern Basketry. Then, as now, I enjoyed complete freedom of designing and making embroidered and manipulated textiles. For the past four years I have volunteered as a curator for the Maker’s Art range of handmade designer crafts sold in the Heath Robinson Museum shop, Pinner, Middlesex.



My stitch journey started following the completion of the City & Guilds Certificate, then the Diploma. Once completed this led to the formation of the Work in Progress Textile Group. Since then my interests have been developed by the environment around me – particularly in nature, but also by the clean lines of geometry.  


The enjoyment of hand-stitching has been with me for a long time, although formal education led me in a scientific direction. While early traditional practices equipped me with a vocabulary and experience of embroidery, City and Guilds (Stitched Textiles) offered fresh experiences, including design. More recently I have completed the MA Textiles course at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, UK.  I am also a member of Consuo Textile Art.




Textiles and Art have always played a part in my life. My Mother was a trained couturier dressmaker and made almost all of our clothes so there were always plenty of bits and pieces to be made into dolls clothes and fabric collage pictures! 

I later taught art and craft at pre-school level. It was while helping at my daughter's school with the embroidery sessions that I met fellow textile artist Debbie White who introduced me to the world of City & Guilds! 

I studied Traditional Needlecraft with Claire Short from 1990 to 1994 before completing a City & Guilds in Machine Embroidery with Pam Watts and both levels in City Guilds in Creative Embroidery at Missenden Abbey with Janet Edmonds. I have also written a book on Embroidery for Beginners for Search Press in their Ready to Stitch series. Work from this book has been included in Stitch magazine and other craft publications.

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