Some 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 and advice.

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.

What can 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?

This 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, and