This work is taken from Ordnance Survey Sheet 167 - Chelmsford and Harlow, dated 1977. Hand-stitched onto original used maps. Any pencil marks, creases or stains are part of the natural patina of a used map.
Sam from Navi Stitch and I sat down before the arrival of this new collection to learn more about the artist behind this work. I do hope you enjoy this "In conversation" ...
Q. I would like to ask if you don’t mind, where did you grow up and did it have a bearing on you as an Artist?
I grew up in Ipswich but now live in Manningtree. My grandparents lived in Manningtree and spending a lot of time as a child on the banks of the River Stour most definitely has an influence on my work. The river is a constant source of inspiration for me.
Q. Describe a working day as an artist and do you work in a studio or at the location you paint?
I work from my studio/shop in Manningtree. I am lucky enough to be able to walk to work. I don’t think there is such a thing as a standard day for me. I do all my planning and framing in my workshop but most of my stitching I tend to do at home. There is nothing I enjoy more than a relaxed evening of hand-stitching.
Q. Have you had any previous jobs before becoming an Artist?
Yes, I used to work in catering and ran a café. I also catered on Thames Sailing Barges going aboard as cook. This also extended my love of the water and the Suffolk/Essex Coast line.
Q. Are there any little tips or tricks you’ve learned over the years, that would help or inspire budding artists?
Create what you enjoy and your passion will come through in your work. I was never any good at traditional ‘Art’ at school and never dreamed of being a full time artist, but here I am living the dream!
Q. What music do you listen to when you are working?
I tend to have radio 2 playing in the background as I love the mix of music they play.
Q. What piece of equipment can’t you do without?
My needle threader – I used a very fine needle and find it an invaluable little tool.
Q. The main theme of paintings with Wonky Wheel are quite unique can you share with the customer where you get your inspiration from and why maps?
I am a sailor and a stitcher, my work is a combination of the both. I am drawn to the colours in a navigation chart and like to fit my designs around the shapes on the coastline.
Q. What do you enjoy most about being an artist?
I love meeting people and hearing their stories. I have had some really interesting chats with customers at events and love to hear why a certain location is special to them.
Q. What have been your highlights or biggest achievements so far? Winning the Colbea in the Market for Success competition in 2018.
This was a business related competition and I enjoy the business side as much as I enjoy the creative. The prize was trading in Fenwick Colchester for 2 months in 2019, I made lots of sales in that time and the guidance from the very experienced Fenwick team was invaluable.
Q. How would you describe the life of an artist in just 3 words.
Colourful, fun, mindful
Q. What advice would you give to younger self about starting a career as an artist?
Don’t believe what the art teacher told you at school.Art comes in many forms, find what’s right for you