Attending workshops on Indian and Central Asian embroidery was the spur that made me start stitching. Ethnic textiles were my first interest, and now folk art, Eastern European and Scandinavian embroideries figure among my sources of inspiration - for their beautiful and bold use of colour, precise stitching, and amazing ability to explore patterns in beautiful designs.
I like to make things with an utilitarian purpose, small bags being a favourite. In traditional societies women would often make little embroidered bags, pouches and cases to transport and keep precious things, which they would then either keep themselves or offer to loved ones.
In an ideal world I would only use hand-woven fabrics dyed with natural dyes. But given the times we live in, I make the most of the wonderful assortment of colours of cotton quilting fabrics, mostly plain and simple, and stranded cotton embroidery floss. With care, attention and skill one can produce things of beauty out of the cheapest and simplest materials.
Originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I lived in south east England for over 20 years, and at the end of 2012 settled in a small village in the mountains of northern Extremadura, western Spain, close to the border with Portugal. I came alone to this remote corner, speaking only a very basic Spanish, searching for a warmer and sunnier climate, a closer relationship with nature, better health, and a simpler, cheaper and more relaxed way of life...