I have been writing and delivering various courses and workshops for the past 30 years. I have taught regularly in the UK and Europe as well Australia, New Zealand and India. By far the most popular course is Experimental Textiles, and I am very excited to be teaching it again. Because of the popularity of my teaching, I was commissioned to write 4 books for Batsford on my experimental textile techniques. Hot Textiles (2007), Experimental Textiles (2009), Layered Textiles (2011) and Reclaimed Textiles (2014).
It must be time to write another one . . .
I have long been fascinated by the seemingly endless variety of textures and colours to be found in textiles and took up the challenge of experimenting with heat, dyes, glues and stitch to create new textured surfaces and three-dimensional forms. I have shared this passion through teaching workshops and writing my books and have thoroughly enjoyed the adventure but needed a little more me-time to develop my work. A move from the city of Brighton on England’s south coast to the Loop Head peninsula on the coast of west Clare in Ireland was a big change for me, but one that I was ready to embrace. I left behind the noise and bustle of a busy city for the peace and quiet of a rural landscape and adopted a more mindful lifestyle.
Since moving to the Loop Head peninsula, I have been able to immerse myself in the stunning land- and seascapes along the West Clare coast. The view from my home and studio looking across Fodra and Ross bays is ever changing, with the light and colour informing my work.
The gentler pace of life in rural Ireland has been positive. I can watch the changing seasons and their affect on the flora and fauna. The local geology, rock pools and seaweed all inspire my new work, which is now quite abstract, focusing on texture or colour.
Colour and composition has always been very important in my (and my students') work. The simpler the work, the more important these elements become.
At present a small outbuilding on my property serves as a studio and gallery, while there are plans for a larger building in the future. Having all my supplies, materials and tools all in one place has made a massive difference to the way I work. It is wonderful to have everything to hand.
Sonas Studio is open most weekends and by appointment during the week. I am very happy to show you my work and talk about my inspiration.