From my workshop in the beautiful Cotswold countryside of South West of England, I began my textile business through a love of making beautiful things from unwanted and discarded materials.
I try to make my products and artwork as eco-friendly as possible and so create handmade textile products and artwork designed with environmental considerations in mind. My inspiration comes from the world around me, whether that is the natural world or beautiful architecture. My resources are gathered from remnants, recycled, discarded and unwanted materials. I love to look for bargain fabrics which can be re-used and made into something else by trawling around local charity shops looking for cottons, linens and silks that can be re-dyed and used again. The enormous range of textures, colours and techniques made possible through the medium of textiles is endless, and the more experienced I become, the more I fall in love with the freedom and creativity that this medium has to offer.
My love of working with textiles began at a very early age having been influenced and encouraged by my grandmother who taught me how to use her old treadle ‘Singer’ sewing machine and provided me with my first bag of discarded fabrics for ‘dressing up’. I began making my own clothes 'properly' at the age of 11 when I discovered commercial sewing patterns at senior school, and was a great fan of the 'bargain bucket' when Laura Ashley opened up in Bath back in the '70's where my friend and I could buy lovely fashionable cotton fabric for just 25p a yard (yes - a yard in those days!). At last I could have affordable fashionable clothes rather than hand-me-downs! And they were always well made!
Since retiring as Head of Textiles at a large comprehensive school in Gloucester, I now have more time to devote to creating and making using this wonderful medium, from functional high quality accessories to beautiful textile artwork using a vast range of fabrics, threads, fibres and techniques. My repertoire of techniques grows each time I tackle a new project.
Please visit my blog at www.suebatemantextiles.com/blog for further information about my work.