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inspiration they gave me. I grew up surrounded by their creativity and it soaked in without me realizing how much it would mould my life in the future. My father Roger Nicholson was a textile designer and painter, and my mother Joan Nicholson was an embroiderer and teacher/author. This influence is now apparent and celebrated in my own designs.


What advice would you give to someone starting their own creative business? Be passionate about what you are doing. Love it, go to bed thinking about it and ways to improve and perfect what you’re doing. There are always new ways to view your work, be open to advice and opinion. Do one thing at a time and do it well then move on to the next thing. Most of all ENJOY the story you are sharing through your work.


If you had the opportunity to learn a new creative skill, what would it be?


Oh well, a list of things … firstly all 73 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2012


aspects of printmaking. I loved it at college and would have loved to do more but my path took me in a different direction.


Animation too. I used to do collage and always wanted to find ways to bring the images to life.


Who are your favourite artists? From early childhood, I have been influenced by children’s book illustration and still love contemporary illustration as well as those that moved me as a child.


Brian Wildsmith was a particular favourite. His colours and textures reminiscent of my early childhood and of that time when colour was everywhere...


There are many 20th century artists and illustrators, and so many printmakers I admire too. I was brought looking at artists and illustrators like Edward Ardizzone, William Stobbs, Bruno Monari, John Piper and Edward Bawden. Eric


Ravilious was a great hero of my mother’s, and now they are all very fashionable and influence much work and artists today. Barbara Rea, Gillian Ayres Alexander Calder, Alexander Girard, automata maker Sam Smith and many Scandinavian artists and craftsmen, folk art from around the world ... These formal influences aside, I find much about me inspirational, including toys and automata, and when teaching I do find working with others - children or adults - very uplifting and inspirational in unexpected ways.


Is the ‘handmade’ ethic important to you and why? At the moment my business is very much a cottage industry, but it stems from a love instilled in me by my mother of the ultimate pleasure of making something slowly and beautifully by hand.


I believe we have wanted to slow down from our quick fix satisfaction these days and are learning that it is very pleasurable to spend some


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