Jane P.

My cv and life story is long but briefly it reads as:

I was born in Leicestershire, England and was the eldest of four children. My childhood was fun and my parents encouraged us all to have a go at all sorts of experiences. Being outside, horse riding, dogs, walking, music and swimming were my childhood passions. Grandma set me off on the sewing bug by introducing me to transfer printed linens, many of which I still have!

During my teenage years in the late '60's with the advent of the High Street boutiques and all the exciting clothes available my sewing skills were implemented in copying designs as I was a very tall skinny girl with a 34 ''inside leg, not catered for in off the peg clothes. I loved it and enjoyed making clothes my own, plus I had lots of encouragement from my needlework teacher at school.

But sewing was not a good exam subject choice according to my parents so I concentrated on the sciences.....they hoped I would be a vet!

Instead I qualified as a medical microbiologist, but was still sewing!

Having married in 1979, then having three children and a couple of dogs, I visited the City and Guilds Creative textiles exhibition in the Chapter House at Canterbury Cathedral.....what a setting!. I was completely hooked and went home and told my husband that to keep my sanity while home with the children I was going to sign up for the course. What a wonderful 4 year journey I embarked on lead by Ruth Isset.

I met some great like minded friends and three of us exhibited and met up regularly for many years. Unfortunately life got the the way and we did not meet for 18 months, which was rectified last month and we hope to meet up to share textile experiences again soon.

In between times I worked with a friend forming a company called Abbey Chic, where we created soft furnishings and interior design. Also we could not find suitable shows or fairs so we created The Art of Everyday Living and Go Shopping fairs which showcased local designers. For me this was a steep learning curve in computer skills, web design and everything to do with running the shows. We had lots of encouragement but I was making less and less, which was frustrating. But on the plus side our work was featured on television twice and in Vogue uk. We also had the chance to dress Southwark Cathedral, London, for the Rite of Election, which was a wonderful experience.

Life intervened again and I had to stop for a while.

In support of an initiative to regenerate the local high street in 2013 I took a stall at the Best of Faversham markets selling my unsold stock and making tie dyed baby clothes and t shirts. This was great fun and brought me back into a local creative community.

I have had to give up this stall this year for health reasons but am exploring online shops.

Also a couple of other opportunities for selling at local indoor fairs has arisen! another door seems to open if I wish!

Process

There are techniques which I return to again and again and these include:

Fabric printing, screen printing, photography, digital manipulation, reverse applique, hand stitch, free machine stitching and mark making.

Other techniques often pop into my mind when working as they seem appropriate.

Content

During the past few weeks of this course the content of my work and where I would like to take it has occupied my thoughts.

Often in the past I have felt this was my weak point and there was a lack of direction.

Looking at work I have done 'for me' in the past 10 years it is all based on the environment around me and how where I live effects me.

So I have come up with some words as to how I feel about a body of work I would like to do at the moment.

The environment and human well being is something I care deeply about. Maintaining a healthy environment, reflecting the history, ecology, industrialism, agriculture and a sense of place for future generations is important, whilst allowing modernization, social change and development to take place.

Our town is currently going through a Neighborhood planning for the future process.

So the next ask for me is How???

Tell a story through a body of work??

I am ashamed to say I think the committee is holding me back at the moment!

Maybe more reflection will clear the way and give me the confidence to go ahead!