I’ve always been creative; my mum had me down as a Blue Peter presenter due to my ability to produce something out of nothing even when I was a kid. Those of you of my generation might remember the Blue Peter Book of Teddy Clothes with an extensive range of costumes you could make, including a pirate, a cowboy and a pilot’s outfit; I made them all. Growing up, I was a little obsessed with puppets and stop frame animation; Hector’s House, Pogles Wood, Noggin The Nog and Topo Gigio were all very real for me.
I’ve worked in the arts since graduating from Huddersfield University in 1984, in both the performing and visual arts fields. Paper became my thing for a while and I even went back to college to qualify as a Bookbinder but not until I found the splendid art of needle felting did I feel truly at home. Now I needle felt my own characters inspired by my dog Barney and his ability to change personality according to what he thinks it might get him.
All dogs are individual one-offs and they are all unique. They are needle felted from 100% wool with glass eyes. Their clothes are selected from various vintage ranges from Paul and Sindy, Ken, Action Man, G. I. Joe, and other action dolls. We all hail from West Yorkshire – where the wearing of an overcoat is needed most of the year.