Meet Woolly Wormhead: Taught to knit at the age of 3, I have been in a life-long love affair with Textiles ever since and now have over 30 years of experience. By the age of 10 I was starting to experiment with hand-dyeing, machine sewing, and designing and making my own clothes. By my 20s I was creating original Fair Isle and Intarsia hand-knits, using my own hand-dyed yarn.
My passion for craft work and Textiles goes beyond being a hobby, or a way to create my own unique wardrobe. Wherever possible I have extended my learning, from silversmithing to bobbin lace-making, pattern cutting to screen printing. I studied the science of dyeing and Textile production at Bolton University where I gained a valuable insight into both fiber properties and behavior, and large-scale manufacturing processes.
In 1996, I accepted a place at Goldsmiths College, University of London, on their Textiles degree course. Goldsmiths has an outstanding international reputation in the Fiber Arts, encouraging its students to approach Textiles from an artistic, sculptural and cultural perspective. Here, I was able to develop my interest for 3-dimensional Textiles, working with techniques learnt from, among others, weaving, experimental embroidery, basketry, and millinery, concentrating on marrying inspiration and quality of finish.
I am a qualified Art and Textile teacher, and have worked with 11-19 year olds as well as adults. In 2005 I introduced an advanced Experimental Textiles course at my then current school, encouraging students to build on their skills, learn new and diverse techniques, and 'think outside the box'. Although making Textiles is my first love, teaching Textiles brings a different perspective to the medium. Enabling others to learn through making, and gain pleasure from their own hands, encourages me to be more experimental with my work, approaching new ideas with the same enthusiasm that my students show.
Why Hats? Form, function and beauty, hats are the ultimate in versatile accessories. They provide warmth and protection, but they also allow the wearer to express personality and individuality in a way that may not be possible with other garments. Being smaller, a Hat is also a more affordable way to wear a hand-made, hand-designed garment.
For a fiber artist, a Hat is an ideal medium through which to showcase yarn, shape, and form. Due to their size, they allow for experimentation in directions not possible with other, flatter or larger pieces. I have always been fascinated with Hats, from my first wool beret as a child, through to the many diverse and amazing pieces that have appeared in the many different cultures throughout time.
The strongest influences upon my Hat designs come from nature, in particular water. Succulent plants, cacti and sea urchins have the most wonderful, often bizarre shapes. Coral, ammonites and sea anemones. So many beautiful, sculptural forms of life, it's hard not to admire them.Above all, I make and design my Hats because I enjoy making them. Each one made with care, passion and an empathy with my materials. I sincerely wish for them to be worn with as much pleasure as I have had creating them!