Home Interviews Stitched whimsy and fantastical beasts – the textile art of Jane V Shorten
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Stitched whimsy and fantastical beasts – the textile art of Jane V Shorten

by Camilla

Meet the Maker: Textile artist Jane V Shorten

Jane V Shorten is a contemporary textile artist who creates whimsical scenes, where vintage line drawings sit in slightly surreal, offbeat landscapes, surrounded by colourful embroidered and appliquéd flora and fauna. The result are beautiful stitched flights of fancy that truly capture the imagination. Jane talks to fellow Folksy seller Fran Sherbourne from Little Stamp Store about her unique textile art, her influences and why she believes going where your inspiration takes you is the best way to work…

Jane is offering 10% off her textile art and jewellery with the discount code ‘October18’, valid until 31st October 2018. Click here to shop and add the code at the checkout >

Shop Jane V Shorten on Folksy >

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It’s only really in the last 10 years that I have realised how much I love hand embroidery, so I’ve developed a technique whereby I take a vintage black-lined image as the starting point for my textile art and then, using appliqué and embroidery stitches, place that very literal image in an environment that is slightly fantastical or abstract but usually based in nature.

Where do you work?
We have a small spare bedroom where I am lucky enough to be able to keep all my sewing equipment and spread everything out.

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The images I use, walks through the countryside, pieces heard on the radio – they all create a feeling or atmosphere that eventually crystallises into an embroidery.

What got you started on mixed textiles?
I’ve always sewn, knitted, crocheted, but it’s only really in the last 10 years that I have realised how much I love hand embroidery, so I have developed that and experimented with ways to incorporate it with other materials. The technique I’ve developed is to take a vintage black-lined image as the starting point for my pieces and then, using appliqué and embroidery stitches, place that very literal image in an environment that is slightly fantastical or abstract but usually based in nature.

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I use vintage drawings in my textile art, many from the British library, which I find quirky and a great starting point.

Is it your own print that you embroider on?
No, the line-drawn images I use are vintage ones, many from the British library, which I find quirky and a great starting point.

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I get much pleasure from choosing fabrics, thread colours and stitches.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anywhere! The graphic images I use, walks through the countryside, pieces heard on the radio. They all create a feeling or atmosphere that eventually crystallises into an embroidery. For inspiration I like to look at the work of printmakers and still-life photographers – it is always the colour combinations and marks that draw me in.

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I would say colour is my main inspiration and I spend a lot of time playing with different fabric scraps and embroidery silks until I feel the colours are exactly what I want.

Do you plan a particular colour palette when creating your pictures?
Very much so. I would say colour is my main inspiration and I spend a lot of time playing with different fabric scraps and embroidery silks until I feel the colours are exactly what I want. I get much pleasure from choosing fabrics, thread colours and stitches.

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I have very productive periods, and other times when inspiration leaves. I try not to force anything because for me that doesn’t produce satisfactory work.

What’s your daily routine?
When I’m not doing the ‘day job’, it’s dog walking first (thinking time), then into the studio for some sewing, lunch and another dog walk. I also like to sew in the evenings.

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How do you plan your day? Do you start with emails, then creating?
Yes, I get my emails looked at first thing, and out of the way. I like to have a think about what I plan to do before I start sewing. I like to mull things over in my head and make a few notes or sketches, but most ideas come straight out of my head on to the fabric after a lot of thinking.

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I like to mull things over in my head and make a few notes or sketches, but most ideas come straight out of my head on to the fabric after a lot of thinking.

What’s your favourite drink at work?
Coffee before 12.00, tea in the afternoon.

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My pieces come when the desire is there to make them.

When’s your busiest time of year?
Really when I feel most creative. I don’t especially produce a lot more work for Christmas – the pieces come when the desire is there to make them. So I have very productive periods, and other times when inspiration leaves. I try not to force anything because for me that doesn’t produce satisfactory work.

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Do you have any hobbies or crafts you practise aside from textile art?
I make my own clothes, and from this year I’m trying to make all of my wardrobe going forward. We’ll have to see how that goes!

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Shop Jane V Shorten textile art on Folksy >

Jane is offering 10% off her textile art and jewellery with the discount code ‘October18’, valid until 31st October 2018. Click here to shop and add the code at the checkout >

 

Discover more textile art on Folksy >

 


Meet the Interviewer

Little Stamp Store, Fran Sherbourne, handmade stamps, personalised stamps, custom stamps, custom stamps uk,The maker asking the questions is fellow Folksy seller and stamp designer Fran from the Little Stamp Store.

Read our interview with Fran from Little Stamp Store here >

Shop Little Stamp Store on Folksy > 

 

 

 

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