Wednesday, July 20, 2016

An interview with Textile 21 member Terri

Another chance for our readers to learn more about the designers who make up Textile 21.  This time, it is Terri who will be answering my questions...

Terri with her 'Fashioned in Silk' creation
So Terri, when did you join Textile 21?

I joined the group 10 years ago.  Time has passed so quickly!

Can you share a brief history of how you’ve got to where you are now?

I grew up in the post war era. Even if you had money (which we didn’t) there was nothing to buy. My father made everything. Nothing was thrown away. It was either mended or turned into something else. Not only did he create our furniture when we moved into a council house but made a child sized house for me at the bottom of our garden long before Wendy houses were even heard of. He used scrap wood and apple boxes. It was completely furnished with arm chairs, dining table and chairs and even a washing machine and ironing board, all made to scale by him. He could work with metal as well as wood. He also made many of our clothes and was probably my biggest influence. It was natural for me to ask for a piece of fabric to make my own dress. Fabric was cheap. Clothes were dear.
Terri's studio at home
A very sneaky peak at one of Terri's designs for 'Light Fantastic'
I created most of my own clothes for years until, during my first career as a Psychiatric Social Worker, I studied City and Guilds Fashion out of interest and a desire to create my own patterns. Probably a little bit of my father’s perfectionism and quest for quality was rubbing off as well. I didn’t start to use my skills to earn money until I had had my children. As the children grew I trained as a teacher and taught fashion in adult education for more than 20 years. While teaching, I took C&G Embroidery to extend my skills and after retiring began to exhibit with Textile 21.

Can you tell us a little bit about your work?

I come from a line of craftsmen and I have always been a maker. I don’t have a choice. I have a compulsion to make things and get itchy fingers if I am separated from my sewing machine for too long. Fabric, whether new, used or a remnant, remains a source of inspiration. I particularly enjoy working with natural fibres. The various elements of my background come together in the work.

Sketchbook for 'Light Fantastic'
Terri has been sewing with plastics for 'Light Fantastic'
Exhibiting with Textile 21 is helping me to develop another side to my creativity as I constantly fight with the restraints of practicality and struggle to give more weight to the “art” and less to the “wearable” in the wearable art that I create.

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