Alongside this I produce small batches of handmade knitted accessories and homewares, using British Wool and utilising the natural colours of the fleeces as much as possible. In an age where we are all guilty of wearing coloured clothing dyed with chemicals, this range is a response to the need to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Met with subtle tones of greys, browns, creams and black from the undyed natural colours of sheep’s fleeces, colour becomes precious and an occasional accent to minimise the negative impact on our planet.
My original interest in knitwear came after studying Ba Fine Art at University, where I discovered my skill and love of traditional hand knitting. My love of Natural fibres, colour and pattern, drove my desire to create products with originality & integrity. My original business model as a designer and maker of knitted accessories and homewares imparted a sense of disconnection between myself and the materials being utilized, which held no personal significance. This detachment, alongside the transition from the city to the rural landscape in which I now reside, motivated the development of this new style of working which resonates with traditional rural crafts practice.
My recent study at Manchester School of Art for a Masters by Research established by creating knitted garments inter-twined with location through materiality, how crafts-practitioners experience a deepening connection with the landscape. Identifying how the experience of producing crafted-garments in this site-specific way can act as a conduit between maker and the landscape. The unanticipated assistance of the community during the sourcing and processing of these materials engendered the crafted garments transition into collaborative pieces between myself, the landscape, and the local community which resonates with traditional vernacular crafts. The finished garments embody these relationships and symbolise the narrative of their production as pieces of conceptual craft.
As a member of the Heritage Crafts Association through my work as a spinner of wool and natural dyer, I am keen to promote these skills and their use and benefit in today’s age of technology, through their ability to connect people to nature and their surrounding landscape through the materials used.
Living and working from within the landscape surrounding my home in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, I produce knitted garments created from site-specific locations in symbiosis with the landscape. Utilising the materials available locally, I process raw sheep’s fleeces, spinning and dyeing the yarn with vegetation gleaned from the surrounding countryside to create authentic pieces of one-off vernacular knitwear as a response to place. These pieces are exceptionally time consuming and of an exhibition nature due to their production, but serious commissions are considered.
“The multiple layers of meaning that exist within an object arise out of the materials and their making.”
- Jennifer Green, grower and spinner of flax