About Me

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  • Here I am in my wedding outfit at St. Naum church. I wanted to surprise my husband; and, yep, it did the trick.

  • I've always loved fibres, yarns, and textiles since my Nanna let me play with her soft wools and taught me to french knit around the age of seven.

  • Vera, my Nanna, was a uniform maker at The King’s School, Parramatta. Her mother, Alice, was a dressmaker in Regent St and her aunt Annie (Alice's sister) had a dressmaker business at 105 Clarence Street, Sydney. Annie employed four seamstresses, one being a buttonhole sewer! Vera's daughter, my mother, was a sewing machine and knitting machine demonstrator for Walton’s home-maker stores. So, textiles are definitely in my blood.

  • In the 1960s girls were taught domestic crafts at primary school. I was taught sewing, embroidery and basic weaving by the classroom teacher. I still have the little hand-towel that I embroidered when I was eight years old. Even then I was a good little sewer.

  • All through high school I studied Textiles & Design. We made nightgowns, smocked baby dresses, knitting and tapestry. For matriculation I studied natural plant dyeing and Azoic chemical dyeing, completed a range of batik sarongs, and designed a collection of theatre costume designs; the illustrations being selected for the Year 12 Fine Art Exhibition at UNSW. My teacher, Rosemary Bourke, encouraged us to explore all textiles. She still remains a great friend today. Out of school I designed and crocheted my own bikinis and tank tops and did stitched tapestry.

  • I then attended Melbourne College of Textiles and completed a two-year full time degree in Clothing Construction and Fashion Design. It was a fantastic introduction to the commercial world of all things textiles. On that campus we had sheep and goats, a carding and industrial spinning mill, an industrial weaving mill, a dye lab, a garment construction floor and a dry-cleaning centre. We also studied pattern making and grading, design and fashion illustration and sewing mechanics. So I gained a solid understanding from the animal to the cloth. I also took extra studies in cashmere fleece production and millinery. This lead me on to working in the fashion industry in both Melbourne and Perth, hand sewing couture garments, designing and making hats for private clients, exhibiting millinery at the Fashion Design Council 'Fashion 1984' and designing accessories for Harris & McCall design house. I did a short stint as a floor machinist with Anthea Crawford, worked with Desbina Collins (now in Paris) hand-sewing seams and zippers in thirty metre long silk organza ball gowns!; and designed wedding gowns and sewed for Bagutta (Perth). I also taught sewing to Indigenous women at Bundiyarra Women's Group in Geraldton, sewed privately for clients and assisted textiles teacher Sr. Barbara Brabender at St Mary's College, Broome.

  • It was at Melbourne College of Textiles where I discovered the domestic weaving room and got to play on my first large floor loom. The room was full of all kinds of different looms but one of the floor looms was warped up so down I sat and off I wove. I was lucky enough to be of the generation when weaving was part of the arts department at most technical colleges. Sadly, those craft certificates seem to have all gone, and it's left to the guilds and private craftspeople to share the knowledge.

  • I have always continued to play with textiles in some form or another. Making baby clothes, sewing quilts, coverlets, screen printing fabric, knitting cabled patterns and fair-isle jumpers, and sewing my own clothes. When returning to live in Sydney I bought my first four shaft table loom, took some classes at Sturt (Mittagong) and joined the Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild of NSW Inc. I am also a member of the Berry Spinners & Weavers, Inc. group and the Kiama Spinners, Weavers & Embroiders group.

  • At the moment I have six looms: a Glimåkra countermarch floor loom; a Louet 'Jane' (8 shaft) loom; a Teko Teko 4 shaft table loom; a backstrap loom I'm learning to use; an inkle loom for braids and webbing; and a baby inklette that I can take with me when I travel. My favourite techniques are the inlaid weaves of Scandinavia and the Balkans. I just love those big chunks of colour and shape in their geometric designs. You can see some of those here.
  • I travel overseas very often and always sniff out weaving and yarn centres wherever and whenever I can. Read my blog here

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