I was born and lived in a town outside of Norwich, Norfolk, UK. However, because of my husband's work, we moved over 20 years ago. I now live not far from Southend-on-Sea, right at the bottom of Essex. However, we still have family and lifelong friends in Norfolk so make regular trips back.
I've always stitched... I can't remember a time when I didn't do it. And having researched family history, I've discovered my Great Great Grandmother left very rural Norfolk to go to London to stitch crinolines, so stitching is in the blood.
I wanted to sew for a living, alas life didn't work out that way, there were issues not within my control and I ended up with a "proper" job in an office.
On being made redundant I decided it was time to go back to those dreams, to take the opportunity before I totally missed out.
So a few years of formal studies in Creative Embroidery and Papercraft and I was set for my current path.
Now what is my job title? I've toyed with this a lot over time. Of course the simplest would be an Artist. However, its possibly all too encompassing, and the automatic assumption is paintings of some description. Embroiderer, well no.... I'm always pointing out that the word 'embroidery' means to decorate a surface.... not purely to stitch. And anyone who has studied City & Guilds Embroidery will know, the course covers so much more than surface embellishment. I could be a Designer/Maker because that's what I do, design my own pieces and make them myself. For a while I was a Textile Artist, and I quite like this, because it covers the broad range of what it is I/we do with stitch. However, I did find there is still this hurdle to get over with the perception of granny's embroidered traycloth.
So, currently, and it says on my business cards, I am a Mixed Media Artist. This certainly seems to open more doors than the other titles, and, as my preferred practice is to stitch on paper, plus the wide variety of techniques and skills at my disposal, its seems to be a more apt description. Not to mention my equipment also includes a soldering iron, heat gun, rivet gun, bookbinding tools alongside my sewing needles, scissors and sewing machine.
I feel I've lots to learn and explore in combining textiles techniques with paper as my fabric of choice. And if I live to be over 100, as my aforementioned Great Great Gran did, I still wouldn't use up all of my stash!!!