Where are you based? The North Pennines
How did your millinery career begin?
I’ve been making hats and hoods as a feltmaker since 2001. I’ve always enjoyed making hats, but wanted to learn to make what I considered to be ‘real’ hats. I was lucky to be able to attend a millinery summer school, with a tutor (Sue Carter) who was willing to accommodate my quirky ideas and began developing the styles I now make in 2015.
Describe your work in 10 words. My work is unique, bespoke, classic, natural, sustainable, and woolly.
Who are your millinery heroes? Guy Morse Brown, Sue Carter
What inspires you? I am inspired by my sheep, kept purely for their fleeces (and as friends), and the beauty of natural materials, both the wool used in my hats and the wooden blocks on which they’re made.
What is a typical day like in your studio? I tend to spend a day on one activity. One day I’ll make hoods, another day I’ll block crowns and brims, another day could be spent making linings, and many days are spent stitching. Every day also involves looking after my sheep, who supply much of my material.
Why did you want to take part in this event? As a relative newcomer, I was thrilled to be invited to join such distinguished company in such a fantastic venue.
Where can people buy your work? My work is available from my studio in Northumberland or I can be contacted through my website
Anything else you want people to know? I grow my own materials – or rather my sheep do! I use their fleeces to make the hoods for my crowns and in some of the tweeds used in the brims. Other tweeds are all British, carefully sourced Harris tweeds or breed society tweeds and linings are made from organic cotton poplin.