I am a highly skilled creative Hand Embroiderer and Artist working in Costume for the Film and Television industry. I have worked on costume award-winning productions such as Elizabeth 1 (which starred Dame Helen Mirren), The Crown season one, and all eight seasons of Game of Thrones.
I was born in Maidstone Kent in the UK, but my formative years were spent on the Isle of Wight where my family moved to when I was six. The Isle of Wight is seen as a jewel of British beauty in miniature, with many diverse landscapes, from its rolling countryside to its varied coastline. As a child I developed a love of nature that has featured and inspired my creative work. This love of nature was not in the scale of a panoramic view. I was drawn to the majesty of the microscopic details of nature, that of insects, birds and flora, the translucent colors of dragonflies' wings, woodland carpets of bluebells, delicate poppies dotting cornfields and the velvety texture of moss. All this is enhanced by the changing seasons which evoke different sights, sounds, moods and feelings.
Although having a fascination with the array of surface decorations that nature provides, with their fantastic shapes, colors and textures, I am also influenced by the stylized decoration created by man, from architectural ornamentation on historical buildings, sculptural jewelery, historical costumes and textiles. I am always drawn towards costumes that have a dramatic presence and are beautifully decorated, either by embellishment or embroidery which can be seen in examples throughout the world and in every era.
After school I attended the London College of Fashion where I studied Fashion Design. After leaving college I worked in textile conservation where I repaired and restored historical textiles, I learned new skills and took inspiration from the many textiles that I worked on, from 9th century Persian weavings, Ottoman fabrics and 16th to 19th century European and Islamic embroideries. This invaluable access to historical textiles, apart from providing inspiration, gave me an insight into a variation of approaches and techniques used within their construction. All this newly gained knowledge helped me develop my own work within embroidery and textile manipulation that I created in my later career working as a Principal Costume Embroiderer in film and television.
Due to the success of Game of Thrones and the recognition and appreciation of the costumes (Designed by Michele Clapton) that I have embroidered, my work has been featured in many renowned craft magazines, and other press outlets. This coverage of my work has opened up new opportunities and I have subsequently been invited to devise and conduct many master classes, workshops and Talks for embroidery organizations and textile groups, including embroidery guilds in the UK and the USA.