Paula Armstrong | Tapestry Weaver
Paula’s love affair with textiles began at a very young age. She was ravished by multifarious fabrics, embroidery threads, knitting yarns and everything that was luscious, textured, and colourful. Sewing and embroidery were integral to her young life. Over the years this interest has broadened, deepened and become more enriched. Although she studied weaving whilst training as a teacher Paula didn’t pursue tapestry weaving until much later on. Meanwhile she developed extensive practice in needlepoint and professional ecclesiastical embroidery .
Paula’s tapestry weaving draws on two main areas of continuing interest: the detailed structure of plants, especially trees; and the constructed textile techniques of ancient non-European cultures, which can be assimilated into tapestry weaving. These latter provide the background for a strong tactile element to her work. She researches her subject matter through sketching, photography, collage, and colour studies.
Paula loves sharing her skills with others, enabling them to explore their own creative process. She takes a broad, creative and flexible approach to her teaching, adapting to students individual needs and aspirations.
Jacqueline Bounsall | Pattern Maker
Jacquie trained as a Fashion Designer specialising in Knitwear at St. Martin’s. Through further study in pattern making and garment construction at the London College of Fashion she worked as a Pattern Maker in the Fashion Industry, creating designer collections for London Fashion Week. Throughout her career she has been involved in teaching and went on to qualify as a teacher in 2013.
Inspired by constructing garments from a 2D image Jacquie rises to the challenge of creating a new silhouette as much as perfecting the fit of a sleeve. She is passionate about shape and texture and is curious to understand and master the technical side of garment construction whether pattern cutting or making. She finds working with new and interesting ideas, materials and people stimulating and enjoys overcoming the challenges that they may bring.
Jacquie made her first dress from a pattern when she was 8 – back then home sewing & knitting was much cheaper than buying clothes and it enabled a more unique wardrobe which is very relevant to how we should be thinking today – Jacquie was hooked from then on. She relied on bought patterns until she was about 17 when she started to alter them to her own designs; making a suit for her boyfriend out of calico, which was very fashionable at the time! She made a smock out of Liberty print for a friend who asked if she had ever thought of doing this and going to Art School? Learning how to do things independently was so liberating and still is! You never stop learning new and different ways of approaching a project.
Niki Chandler | Drawing and Patchwork Quilting
Niki is an artist, designer and maker working primarily in the disciplines of textiles and printmaking. An established art quilter, her work is regularly juried into prestigious exhibitions and competitions here in the U.K. and Europe. Underpinning her textile art practice is an emphasis on discovery through drawing and mark making, experimenting with a variety of medium and technique to produce a strong visual aesthetic to inform her stitched work.
As a tutor she is passionate in passing this love of creativity on to her students encouraging them to join her in their own creative process, celebrating their unique individuality.
Follow her work at:- ANGLIA TEXTILE WORKS : angliatextileworks.weebly.com PRISM Textile Art: prismtextiles.co.uk INSTAGRAM : niki chandler @sablecollection
Leah Chapman | Candle Maker
A botanical enthusiast, Leah is a firm advocate of natural health and beauty having spent over 6 years working in the cosmetic industry then moving into natural health in 2017. Leah has been experimenting with natural scent in a variety of forms for as long as she can remember. Inspired by time out in nature, the wonderful scents found throughout the botanical kingdom really fuel her creativity.
As far back as memory serves, essential oils and herbs have been used in her family for relieving colds, flus and various ailments. Leah has professional experience of working with essential oils as well as hundreds of hours of self-study into the correct use of natural ingredients. This along with her research into toxicity in many common household and beauty products has fuelled her passion to create natural and safe beauty and home products for herself.
You can follow her botanical explorations on Instagram: @naturaleaa
Gill Collinson | Textiles & Mixed Media
With over ten years’ teaching experience with a variety of classes, Gill has a passion for all things textile and mixed media. Gill’s educational background is in graphic design and after many years working in the design industry she returned to her first love, textiles. Her own work has a strong basis in natural forms and reflects a truly mixed media approach – incorporating fabric, paper, felt, plastics, stitch, heat tools and anything else with creative potential!
Janet Edwards | Watercolour Painting
Janet Edwards was originally a potter, but, in the nineties, back problems and six months in California with no kiln led her to a paintbrush. She has taught watercolour painting for many years, with the emphasis on how to create a picture rather than details of technique. Her approach to her paintings she describes as ‘representational but not literal’—in other words the images and drawings are real, from life, but are assembled on the paper to make a picture out of colours and lines, rather than to record reality. She is best known for her delicate watercolour flowers that perfectly capture the sprightly characters of the specimens in a distinctive and delightful style. More recently she has been creating bolder more representative scenes inspired by Patrick Heron and Matisse.
Lydia Finney | Lino Cutter
Lydia Finney is an artist, printer and maker based on the Suffolk Coast, in the pretty village of Orford. 6 years ago she moved to Suffolk from Brussels (where she worked for the UK Government) and decided she needed to work for herself but with no idea what to do! Led by a love of fabric, a knack for sewing and with her local surroundings abounding with inspiration, Lydia started printing using wooden blocks to print motifs of hares, seed heads and bees which are still among her repertoire. The prints are then handsewn by Lydia into homeware items such as cushions, lampshades and zipper-bags under the business name Lovely Lydia.
She soon expanded into Lino cutting and creating designs from her head. From there many motifs have appeared including foxes, moths, lobsters, crabs and a host of others inspired by her unique corner of Suffolk. She enjoys that her creations have something of a purpose; that a printed bag means you can carry something handprinted, handsewn and unique around with you. She would always be the first to encourage someone to “give it a go” when it comes to being creative- “No one starts as an expert, it’s fun to try new skills and see your skill and confidence grow.” She especially loves to see the variety of ideas and creations students come up with. “We all take such different approaches to things, I love seeing where the inspiration flows from!”
Jill Fordham | Stained Glass
Jill has worked as a locally based stained glass artist for 25 years. Her work includes taking commissions from private clients, exhibiting regularly and teaching, and she enjoys following her own inspiration as much as encouraging and inspiring other’s creativity. The glass techniques she works with are leading, copper foiling, fusing and slumping, and glass painting. A source of inspiration for many of her designs is capturing fluid forms, and using glass to recreate the way these forms are affected by light and she also like geometric patterns! Find out more on her website: Hurdy Gurdy Glass.
Debbie Hall | Willow Weaving
After making her first basket in 1995 Debbie became well and truly hooked on willow, and has been working with it ever since. She loves passing her passion on to others and has been teaching for almost 20 years. She has studied with many well respected basketmakers, and completed a City and Guilds in Creative Basketry at the City Lit in London in 2011. During her course she was awarded the Barbara Maynard Cup and an adult Learners Award. She was an award winner in the 2018 Basket of the Year Competition, run by the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers, of which she is a Yeoman member.
Debbie runs her business (www.salixarts.co.uk) from her home in Cambridgeshire, where she holds regular willow workshops. She also teaches for other organisations including the Basketmakers Association and Cambridge Botanic Gardens. In addition to her teaching, she creates living willow structures, exhibits her baskets and sculptural work and holds regular Open Studios. Debbie’s larger willow sculpture is regularly seen amongst festival décor, and in locations as diverse as RSPB nature reserves and Nandos restaurants!
Debbie grows and harvests the majority of the willow that she uses, and having such close contact with her material through its entire lifecycle gives her great satisfaction.
Rebecca Ilett | Jewellery
Rebecca Ilett is a sculptor and Jeweller whose work references stories, characters and ideas from literature. Her work often uses traditional methods and materials, chosen for their ability to illustrate a theme or story. She often uses humour and ambiguity in her work as a device to challenge.
Rebecca has been teaching jewellery making and silversmithing in London and Cambridge for the past 13 years, having originally trained as a sculptor. She has exhibited her work internationally, and was shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize 2017.
Find out more about Rebecca’s work here
Susan Jones | Printmaking
Sue is an Artist passionate about print. With 17 years experience as Lead Tutor and Studio Manager at the Curwen Print Study Centre Sue devised, developed and delivered many of the workshops including the Certificate in Printmaking Skills. Sue is a Co-Founder of the Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale, an exhibition celebrating hand pulled original print by the artist.
As an artist and tutor Sue developed and delivered printmaking workshops at the British Museum, Blenheim Palace, the Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettles Yard, Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, the Zoology Museum Cambridge University to name a few. Consultancy and Artist in Residence posts include The Leys, Perse Girls School, Long Road Sixth Form, St Albans Girl School and many more. Church Street Gallery, Saffron Walden, Cambridge Contemporary Art, Espacio London and the Babylon Gallery, Ely are some of the many places she exhibits.
Working with varying and multiple print techniques Sue creates multi-layered monotypes constructed of many layers. She draws inspiration from landscape, weather, looking at chaos and control to create new emotional landscapes and visual diaries. Sue currently teaches printmaking at her own Studio in Wimbish: Stoneman Press as well as teaching at various other locations delivering a broad range of printmaking workshops and courses.
Fay Jones | Natural Dyeing
Fay has a background in conservation and has a deep love and appreciation for all things wild and wonderful. She spends much of her time making, experimenting, reading, walking about and occasionally setting fire to things in the wilds of rural Suffolk.
Having spent a week in 1578 (re-creating the Tudor period, alas no time travel!) which opened her eyes to the endless colours on offer from our very own native plants, she has been continually studying and experimenting with dyeing and it is a subject she finds endlessly fascinating.
She also works with wood creating spoons enjoying the process of harvesting wild, raw materials and making them into beautiful yet functional objects that are loved and used everyday.
She loves enthusing about her work; sharing and teaching what she knows with everyone and anyone! She has worked in collaboration with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust for a number of years and runs talks and workshops for many organisations as well as selling her lovely products at markets and fayres.
She sells her wares through her lovely website; The Woodland Haberdasher
Danielle Lummis | Calligraphy
Danielle is a self taught Modern Calligrapher and teacher. Inspired by scripts from the past such as Copperplate and Spencerian script and current influences such as Brush Lettering.
After studying a degree in Fashion Design in London Danielle has worked for high end and couture wedding dress designers. She now works from her home studio on Calligraphy projects and wedding dress alterations. Danielle teaches Modern Calligraphy, Brush Lettering and Flourishing workshops on a regular basis in Cambridge, Newmarket and Ely.
You can view her work on her website: Danielle Lummis
Sheila McDonald | Enamelling
Sheila originally studied Textile Design at the Glasgow School of Art before being drawn towards Silversmithing and Jewellery Design. After completing an M.A. in Jewellery Design at the Royal College of Art in London, Sheila now lives and works in Norfolk. Sheila has been a practicing jeweller and enameler for many years and is a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and is also a short course tutor at West Dean College, Chichester.
View Sheila’s website here.
Oliver Moses | Woodwork
Olly is a spoon carver and turner of bowls, plates, pots, boxes and drinking vessels from locally sourced green wood. In 2018 he had the privilege of using wood from the Cambridge Botanic Gardens and the Wimpole Hall Estate. The connection to a place and a history that comes with knowing exactly where your raw material comes from is just one of the many advantages of working with green wood.
Helen Perry | Bookbinding
For Helen, a lifelong love of books, crafts and sewing came together when she started attending bookbinding classes. Helen always enjoyed making things and bookbinding soon became a new passion. She particularly enjoys the aspect of turning humble objects such as paper, card and glue into beautiful and practical books and boxes.
She has worked in adult education for many years and really enjoys sharing her skills, knowledge and teaching.
You can find out more about Helen vai her website: HelenHandmadeBooks
Simon Rees | Jewellery & Silversmithing
Simon Rees trained in the 80’s at the world-class jewellery school, Sir John class in London, completing with a very high degree and a number of prizes. His early career saw him working under his own label producing small collections for global designer outlets, most notably Harrods, Charivari’s in New York and a number of outlets in Japan. During this period, he collaborated with a number of designers, most famously Alexander McQueen, the results of which were a number of catwalk pieces recently featured in the V&A exhibition; Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. All of this work was designed and produced within his highly successful studio & shop in the famous Columbia Road flower market which he ran for 25 years before opening Rees & Rees in deal, Kent. He has many years experience of teaching at White House Arts and now at Cambridge Art Makers and in his own studio in Deal. Many of his students have gone on to sell their work in galleries around the UK.
Elia Rizzo | Jewellery & Silversmithing
Sarah Ruff | Screen Printing
Sarah loves foreign and exotic places, vibrant colours and seeing different animals and plants which she translates into wonderful screenprints. She teaches various workshops around Cambridgeshire.
Jo Sheldon | Interior Textiles
Jo is a local furnishings designer with over 25 years’ experience in the fabric industry. She has worked as a contract interior designer and now has her own curtain making and design business: www.josheldondesign.co.uk
Rosemary Bangham | Cambridge Makers’ Programme Coordinator
The Bangham sisters, Susannah and Rosemary both work for Cambridge Makers, (yes, a family affair)! They have been makers all their lives; with a practicing instrument maker and repairer for a father and a knitwear designer mother and a creative family they didn’t have much choice! With more than 60 years of making between them they have enthusiasm and experience in making with all kinds of materials and whilst they may not have the accolades and professional training they will share what they know and gratefully learn new skills as they go along.
Rosemary studied Visual Culture and African Studies and has worked in the creative industries for over fifteen years. She has run various creative workshops with children in South Africa .
Susannah Bangham | Cambridge Art Makers’ Manager
Susannah set up Cambridge Makers with her sister and father in 2018. With a passion for all kinds of making she loves to try her hand at any type of creative play. Her current love is ceramics and the versatile and forgiving nature of this material.
From trumpet making to stained glass, pattern cutting to printmaking, having tried pretty much all of our courses, I can say that they are all excellent!