Tell us about your work
My work involves finding stylish vintage chairs and reupholstering them in bold and beautiful fabrics. I am particularly drawn to chairs from the sixties and fifties, or occasional chairs that have a classic or iconic shape recognisable from a certain period.
Just what is it about chairs ?
There’s something I love about chairs. There are so many beautiful shapes and the fact they need to be dressed in fabric is where I get really excited as I just love the variety of colours and textures involved in working with textiles.
How do you make your chairs ?
I strip the chairs down, removing all the old fabric, sanding back the wooden frame if necessary, taking away the old stuffing, padding and webbing. Depending on the condition of the chair I may or may not re-use existing fillings, sometimes washing the horse hair. I use traditional upholstery methods when revamping a chair. Everything is hand stitched and hand finished to a very high standard.
What sort of fabrics do you use ?
I’m not restricted to using fabrics specifically intended for upholstery as I like to have a free rein on any type of fabric. I love vintage finds and regularly trawl antiques fairs. I also love anything that has a luxurious texture like wools and silks, and anything with an unusual weave or interesting pattern.
What makes your work different ?
I love contrasting different patterns and textures in one chair, perhaps with silk piping or vibrantly coloured buttons to create even more contrast. All my pieces are unique and I want them all to make a bit of a statement, a work of art in a piece of furniture. A bold statement, but I like to think so.
Where do you work ?
I have just moved into a shared studio space in central Lewes which is small and cosy and completely suits my needs. I don’t need much – a table, sewing machine and my tool bag. Add to that a chair and gorgeous fabrics and then I get started. I am hoping to sell through independent shops in Lewes, Brighton and beyond as I am now able to dedicate more and more time to my work as my younger daughter is attending nursery school.
How did you get to where you are now ?
I haven’t always been a maker. I used to develop products for habitat before I had children. That’s where my love of beautiful things for the home comes from I suppose. After my second child I realised I couldn’t go back to working in London and I thought long and hard about what I could do that didn’t involve completely retraining. Lewes is such a great place to be if you want to start up in a creative capacity and I feel very lucky to be able to indulge this interest of mine.