I am an archivist, records analyst, a proud spinster aunt, and I make stuff.
I started off studying photography, with a bit of ceramics and comparative religion on the side. At a loss for an occupation I then went to Library School (well, they called it the Faculty of Information Studies) for a Master's degree in Information Studies, specializing in Archives. Along the way I taught myself how to make beaded jewellery, and took classes in handbuilding jewellery and metalsmithing
I learned how to sew as a little girl, and had attempted some embroidery at various points in my life, but I wasn't satisfied working with other people's patterns. I eventually decided to give embroidery another try, using old illustrations as patterns.
My work as an archivist informs my embroidery, and so my first patterns were from historical sources like old anatomy textbooks and natural history compendia. I quickly moved on to vintage erotic and pornographic photographs, stitching delicately tinted nudes, frequently embellished with chiyogami (Japanese paper) appliques.
My love of chiyogami and costume history led me to start experimenting with small paper embroideries of vintage clothing and accessories. I started with simple corsets and handbags, but my work became progressively more complicated, encompassing parasols, men’s hairstyles, beards and moustaches. Eventually I began creating full dresses cut from various combinations of papers and patterns.
Each dress is unique, with the process of creating a pattern taking upwards of four hours. Some pieces are made up of close to 20 individual pieces of paper, carefully cut out and arranged together.
Most recently I have been working on a collection of animals, based on illustrations from old natural history books.