Heritage Murals
Art and Crafts Career

Art and Crafts Career

Timeline of design work

From a childhood love of drawing and sewing, I went to art school on leaving school, but then worked as a trained shorthand typist/secretary for three years before taking a Degree course, specialising in Printed Textile Design.  I only returned to textiles after travelling; taking in dressmaking in Gibraltar, along with Boat Upholstery, with young children.  On returning to UK 1987, I took a Post Graduate textiles course at Central St. Martins with the aim to be a freelance designer. I worked in London studios and my own designs from home.  Designs were sold at international trade fairs; but not enough so I made home furnishings being very proficient in curtain making, blind making and covers of all kinds, finding my own clients.

1994 I moved to Devon and a Crafts Centre studio where I mastered silk painting, while studying for Adult Teacher's Certificate for community classes, for which I developed silk painting and wood decorative painting lessons.  I continued with part time furnishings employment and boat upholstery until furniture painting took over my time, working from a Quayside furniture shop.  Many commissions were undertaken [link] while I sought more mural work and local interior design contacts referred me for commissions.

I had irregular murals and crafts tutoring work so I took a TESOL teacher course in 2005; then taught English to French, German and Spanish teenagers in Devon and Dorset.  It was fortunate I set a change of course,  as after painting the Cathedral for the local Council offices 2006, I was stopped in my tracks, due to a major operation needing long recovery time 2-5 years; so stopped mural works which require balancing and stretching from ladders.  I ceased the heavier work of boat upholstery and along with language teaching in summer schools, I made clothes part time for a local Devon fashion label 'Where Are You Now' sold in London Top Shop.

After a year's temporary Textile Technician 2008-09 in a high school, I was even more focused on working from home, making my own designs.   Shamanic Nights ethical craft business started from my recycled fabrics collection which is now rather large.  Envisioned firstly as a quilting enterprise, patchworks morphed into dressing gowns and on suggestion by craft fair visitors, developed into various unique ladies' fashions; done more for the love of the craft than profitability.  Silk paintings are included in some garments. Visions are now for special kimonos and quilts again.

I was commissioned in 2012 to repaint all the murals at Exeter St. Davids Railway Station; a large project requiring scaffolding in the cold, which I was happily fit to do. The original artist's paintwork, based on Michael Angelo figures, was wearing off badly after 20 years. Now, thanks to new paint and varnish, they are as good as new, the colours exactly as I applied 10 years ago.

From 2010 - 2018 focus was on clothes making and craft shows, summer TEFL schools, homestay intensive courses, and nightly online classes 2010 -18; semi retired 2015.

In 2020, with no craft shows operating, I learned to create websites for my enterprises; alongside silk painting and patchwork clothes making.  Paintings on wood - as small murals - are in development, having missed painting during a long period of sewing!  SILK PAINTING - SEWING - WOOD PAINTING occupy my creative hours, soon planned to include prints from my landscape photographs to be manipulated and reproduced on silk and wood.  Working with colour is a joy using my intuitive colour mixing skills, while the experience painting shabby chic furniture inspires techniques of sanding paint layers to artistic effect.