commonly asked questions answered about the boxes...
What Techniques do you use?
Techniques include hand and machine embroidery,
layering, ripping, dyeing, heat manipulation via soldering iron,
tea staining, and cutwork by hand. Every box is drawn freehand
to ensure each one is different, I only have a template for the
box shape. I create all of the old style imagery
used in my work in Photoshop making them all originals, printing
the designs out onto distressed papers or old book pages.
What materials do you use?
Materials include satins, organzas, plastics,
ribbons, papers such as old book pages, tracing paper and textured
recycled paper, and found objects such as buttons.
Each box is made using paper and fabric.
Are the boxes laser cut?
Each box is cut out by hand to ensure each
one is unique. Although beautiful, I found laser cutting to be
a bit too clinical for the boxes. Cutwork by hand ensures each
one if different.
What are your inspirations?
My inspirations come from the imperfections
in nature (especially flowers) and 1920's interiors, adverts and
social myths - such as the claims made by so called medicenes
or perfumes. I love accidental pattern and distored lettering,
old labels and decaying layers. The artists who inspire me are
Andy Warhol, Jennifer Collier, Hannah Lamb, Jessie Chorley, Claire
Coles and Betty Pepper.
What inspired you to make boxes?
I love working with different papers and combining these
with fabrics, so it was a way of taking paper into a final product,
which could be functional or ornamental. I also think there is
something very special about a box - everyone needs a box for
something, they are enchanting - the secrets and treasures it
holds, the way it closes or opens. The original concept
behind the boxes was 'herbal remedies' so the idea to make boxes
also came from the little herb jars and medicene bottles I was
researching - containers that would make you feel better.
Do u use a special machine to stitch on paper?
l don't use
any special papers or machines, I just use a very old Bernina
sewing machine. With practice, anyone can stitch through papers,
and layer paper up with fabrics, give it a go or book onto one
of my workshops if you'd like, where you will get some 1:1 help
How long does it take you to make one box?
The larger ones can take up to two days - drawing out the
design, layering the fabrics and papers, printing, then stitching
and manipulating the fabric can take a day. The cutwork by hand
and making-up of the box, then adding the finishing touches like
the tag, can take another day. The smallest ones, 4.7cm, can be
fiddly but often can be completed in 3 or 4 hours.
you use the boxes for?
This is a question
that lots of people ask. The boxes look quite delicate, yet they
still function as a useable box to store jewellery or treasures.
You could use them as gift boxes for an expensive gift, or something
simpler like chocolates, or the more detailed ones can be gifts
in themselves. For your special treasures, they are perfect keepsake
boxes perhaps for love notes, wedding or baby memories. I have
also done commissions for people in the past who just want a beautiful
box as a work of art for an interior. Many of the boxes also fold
out to reveal pattern on the inside, so these can be displayed
open to hold a vase of flowers, pot pouri, or the large size will
hold a box of tissues. Whatever you would like a box for, it can
be personalised for you are as a very special gift. I like to
view them as works of Art which don't always need a purpose...
Do you offer student work experience?
is something I hope to offer one day, as a tutor at a University,
I know it is very difficult for students to get good work experience.
At the moment I am unable to offer work experience placements,
but please do email me if you have any questions. Please also
look at The Textile Directory Website work experience section,