Once upon a time...
...I was a behavioural scientist, specialising in speech perception*, who did printmaking and sewing in her spare time.
Then I was visited by a small, slightly smelly, blue fairy**, who granted me three wishes. Now I'm an illustrator and printmaker, specialising in textile design, who does speech perception in her spare time.
I was born in England, grew up in Canada, spent 20 years in Scotland, and now live back in England, with my English husband and our Scottish-born son. This should mean that we are delightfully multicultural; in reality it means that we forget all three of Canadian Thanksgiving, Guy Fawkes and Burns Night.
I was first introduced to printmaking at a weekly art course for teenagers at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. When I moved to Edinburgh (in about 1995) I learned the ins and outs of stone lithography at the Edinburgh Printmakers, and then later took a course in textile screenprinting at the Edinburgh College of Art. Since then I've also studied textile dying and printing at Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts, and with the amazing Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor. Most of the other creative stuff I know I cobbled together from books and YouTube videos and pestering other people to teach me what they knew.
I read a lot. I love children's literature, especially picture books. I also love the seaside, and builder's tea (strong with milk and sugar please) and the smell of hot pine needles in the summer time while walking down to a dock on a northern Ontario lake. I have never met a cheese or a gin that were not to my liking.
* How humans process and understand heard speech.
** It might have been a rather lively roquefort. Gin might have been involved.
When I first started this website, I called it Lint Press. I had the idea that it was going to be predominantly an online shop, selling my textiles and the things I make from my textiles, and that it therefore needed a shop-like name. In the end, my work expanded outwards from textiles, and the website expanded with it. But, the underlying sentiment behind the name still applies -- I hope -- to the things I make and do.
The most common use for the word lint these days is to refer to the accumulated fluff that we carry around at the very bottom of our pockets. It was partly this meaning that I had in mind when I came up with the name Lint Press: something forgotten and mundane, but that carries traces of everything the wearer has travelled through.
Having lived for a large portion of my adult life in Scotland, though, I can also lay claim to the old Scots meaning of the word lint, which means linen, or the plant it's made from, flax, as in the Robert Burns song 'Lassie wi' the lintwhite locks' (roughly, 'Girl with the flaxen hair'). I like that this meaning of the word raises lint to something rather more fine and valuable.
So, the idea behind Lint Press is the combination of the mundane and the fine. The ever-present and the one-off. It's the delicate lace edges that Grama used to crochet on all her plain, utilitarian pillowcases, and the patina of scratches on an always-worn bracelet. The lovely Sheila Sampath, who designed the logo that was on the original Lint Press website, put it this way: "Lint Press finds (and enhances) beauty in the every day...the things that we hold close and dear...the things we carry with us and the things we find."