At Graystone, I run a series of workshops for Sashiko (decorative stitching), Natural Dyeing and Shibori (resist dyeing) to create beautiful, artistic colours and patterns. Inspired by Japanese culture and our own natural dyeing heritage, I have a strong focus on ethical sourcing and sustainability for all of my materials and processes. My workshops aim to create a sense of wellbeing and to help reduce stress.
I am a strong believer in the power of ‘creating’ and ‘making’ as a way to find inner calm and enhance wellbeing. In my workshops, I want to share my passion for creating beautiful textiles and help encourage others to express their own creativity and support their wellbeing.
Over the years, I have worked with a range of textiles; sewing, knitting, crocheting and beading with fabric, thread and yarn to aid relaxation and escape from the stresses of our modern, fast-paced life. The natural rhythm of using the hands when engaged in these crafts encourages us to focus on the present and appreciate the benefits of ‘slowing the pace’. More recently, I have been exploring natural and indigo dyeing; foraging for plants, preparing materials and dyes, then dyeing the fabrics.
William Morris once said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”.
I like to add my own interpretation to this: I love the process of making, however, I want the things I make not just to be beautiful, but useful. Depending on which workshop you attend, you will either take away a finished product or suggestions and ideas for making the samples you have created into something beautiful and, hopefully, useful.
Coming from a scientific background, I like to understand the technical processes I use, but the creative side of me loves to experiment and I am constantly enchanted and surprised by the colours and patterns that natural materials and hand stitching techniques bring to the finished fabrics.
I have a BSc Hons in Textile Technology from Manchester University (UMIST) and a Masters in Education from Cambridge University. Before setting up my company Graystone, I worked for a number of years in industry, in home furnishings and fashion, then retrained as a teacher of Design & Technology as a Textiles Specialist.