My background is an assortment of careers mostly in the creative industries. I began at an early age, (14) selling fashion artwork to small boutiques, proceeding from this to window dressing and sales assistant.
Tried for a while in the advertising industry, but working in the city wasn't for me.
In 1971 I married my childhood sweetheart, I was just 17. My beautiful son Chaz was born the following year. We lived for a few months after he was born in a bedsit. A cooker and sink on the landing ( shared) outside toilet and no bathroom. This existence became intolerable and one day I packed my bags, my child and what I could fit in a sailors kitbag and left London for good.
As with my entire life, the moment I decided that I wanted to go somewhere, a way would be found.
I looked in the pocket of an old jacket and discovered the contact details for a friend I had met at the very first Glastonbury festival. She had said, 'if you ever want to leave London, come and stay with us'.
(Draycott, near Cheddar.)
I stayed with these lovely people for a few weeks, made a new friend and decided to take up his offer of a move to Cheltenham. Ah ha ! way too much story to tell on this platform ! But by and by found myself in Stroud Gloucestershire.
Now Chaz is 8 years old and thriving. I have found employment cooking in a wholefood store and doing classes for people interested in becoming vegetarian. This was good for a few years but again needed to change my path.
My interest in and love of textiles came to the rescue and I began to source vintage clothing to repair or upcycle. Using the patterns I copied from these 1930/40s gems, I created vintage look garments and found willing clients in choice retailers locally.
One day ( in 1989) a friend asked me to make her a hat. I had never done this, but what the heck? How hard could it be? So I made a 'Baker Boy' cap that she wanted and this led to a few more orders.
Before too long I was making a variety of hats and using market stalls to sell them.
Somehow I found myself exhibiting at the 1990 London International Fashion Show, selling my designs to a small select clientele. French Connection and Fenwicks being two of note.
All good for a while ........ ;)
then all change ! I had the opportunity to attend an Access to Art course with a grant and the offer of a Univerity degree going forward. I jumped at it and attended the University of Wolverhampton 3D Design Ceramics BA hons for 3 years. Graduating in 1998.
I had such an amazing time at Uni and I havent looked back.
The incredible serendipity of life allowing me to be at the right place and the right time so that I am here. THAT, my friends is another story ! :)
Claydon Estate. Buckingham MK18 2EX
Through the arch in the courtyard at the rear of Claydon House and immediately left.
Park in the courtyard garden.