1) How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?
I have started using the print room at The Forge and exploring monoprinting technique. I have found my way back to sewing, after years in the fashion industry. I had lost the passion for making clothes and the recent year has been very inspirational. I have also started working with leather after a very intense week long workshop, and have lot of projects coming up this year. Continuing to use the crochet lace in my work and experimenting with it through all different medias.
2) What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops etc)?
All my current work is towards the Open Studio Weekend in May. After being inspired by the lack of colour in kidswear, especially as I struggled to find fun and colour to his wardrobe, I have my Zap and Pow sweatshirts which have been so much fun to design. I have also been making zero waste projects, incorporating liberty fabric samples to heavy cotton drill to make summer bags. I am hoping to have similar project work with my leather scraps ready by May. I also have helped a few people gain more confidence with sewing skills and I am planning a few open mornings for sewing help and more sewing tutoring and workshops. I had fantastic work made by lovely ladies at my last Needle Felting and Embroidery workshop and will have few more coming over the summer. My studio will be the hub for having “a go at making” when we open our doors for the public.
3) What are your plans for the coming year?
I want to find a balance with my own practice and workshops. I really enjoy the teaching part, sharing skills and motivating the students to try out new things. I will be taking part Digswell Arts Printmakers Exhibition in July at the Fenners Gallery in Letchworth and I am hoping to plan something new for 2020. I will keep developing the kidswear range and I am hoping to have few “Pop Up” shops at local music festivals together with The Phanyard.
4) What is the question you get asked most about your work and how do you answer it?
When people visit me in my Studio, they are very curious about my industrial machines, most of the time I end up doing some sort of special demo. I also get questions about the textures I create with my crochet.
5) What or who inspired you to be an artist and why?
I have been always intrigued by how things are made. This is how I got into sewing and later into the fashion industry. I have been always interested in textile art, my grandmother was a huge influence. She was the person who had the biggest impact on my life. She was so skilled, she dyed her wool, knitted, crochet, used the looms to create rugs and fabric. So when I finished my Jewellery and accessories degree I have been able to mix my mediums and use the skills I have gained to make a mark and ask questions about the objects.
7) How has your relationship with Digswell Arts Trust strengthened your practice as an artist?
Digswell Art has given me the opportunity to explore my own practice, trial new things, make mistakes and then try different things. You are surrounded by like minded creative people. It’s nice to be part of something. As a local to Welwyn Garden City I feel such a pride to be part of the charity which started 61 years ago supporting emerging artists in Welwyn Garden City. I also like the chance to open our studios to the local people, to show to the community what we do, I love organising the Open Studio weekends every year.
You can see Kirke’s Creations and the Kidswear Collection on 11- 12th May at the Open Studio weekend at The Forge, Digswell. Check out her profile page.
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