Carlisle England United Kingdom 52 projects

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We head to Carlisle, England to meet Helen, an artist and creative practitioner and I also love making stuff.


Featured Member Interview

How did you find CO+K and why did you join?

I found Cut Out and Keep when I'd just made some big changes in my life and I was looking for places to share my work and find new ideas.

What projects are you currently working on?

As a community artist I always have lots of projects with various groups on the go so at the moment my studio is full of felt flags, embossed copper foil discs and printed and dyed fabrics from several different projects. For myself, I'm currently working on some pieces of art using shadow embroidery and shadow appliqué. I also have a crochet star blanket on the go, a knitted infinity scarf on the needles and I'm drafting a pattern for a kimono style top.


August 19, 2009
Carlisle, England, United Kingdom
Featured Projects
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What does your craft space look like?

I'm very lucky to have my art studio at home and this is also where I craft, it's a double bedroom in our lovely 1930's semi and has a big bay window that means it's always nice and bright. I have lots of storage for all my materials and a comfy sofa with lots of cushions on for knitting and reading. My studio looks over the garden and my lovely big desk sits in the bay window so if I'm a bit stumped for inspiration I can just gaze out and watch the birds, or the bats at night.

Which tool or craft supply do you use the most?

I'm a pretty lo-tech kind of crafter as I very much like using my hands. I have some beautiful wooden crochet hooks which are probably my favourite tools but in terms of most used tools that would probably be my needles and threads and my sewing machines.

What do you craft along to?

I love to have my stereo on when I'm working and choose my sounds according to my mood and what I'm making. I love heavy rock music and industrial music for when I want to work fast and then more relaxed, soundscapes for when I want my ideas to flow or I want to relax with my crafting.

Favorite Craft

It's really hard to say what my favourite craft is, I love to experiment and try new things. I also choose different crafts according to my mood, sometimes I like the gentle, relaxation of stringing beads, other times I like the concentration and focus of lace knitting but then I also like to get messy and make my own dyes or throw paint around. I always come back to knitting and sewing, I love making scarves as you can never have too many and I like to have a scarf that matches my outfit. I also love making jewellery because again a good selection means you've got something to go with every outfit (and I really like shiny things.)

Helen's Top Crafts

If you could learn one new craft or make anything, what would it be?

I'm always trying new things but one thing I would love to learn how to do is to make bobbin lace. I have been donated a set of bobbins and a lace pillow so I now just need to invent a time machine so that I can have some time to sit down and teach myself how to do it.

Who are your crafting heroes?

I'm really inspired by the artist Freddie Robins who uses craft, particularly knitting, in a very subversive way. I also love the work of Mr. Finch and Shauna Richardson's 'crochetdermy.'