I am a Pixel & Textile Artist specialising in pure silk & metal thread hand embroidery
~ working as a freelance artist, writer & photographer and mingled with a career in television production...
Basically I’m a story teller in pictures.
I live in the lush Worcestershire Teme Valley in England.
It all began by my using Photoshop for photography ~ in the beginning to enhance my work. I enjoyed it so much I started to use more and more software for artwork and design ~ and, of course, I took a few courses along the way.
Now along with my Wacom tablet I find I am designing, as much using my computer as a design tool, as I do my pad, pencils and inks. But my quest continues for more software that excites and adds to the cache of tools I already use.
I love futuristic designs and worlds never before seen. I love colour in the extreme and looking back at the prehistoric and ancient ways. Everything is now possible. I love to fall upon a nugget of design possibilities which encourage me to experiment more. I now have access to a powerful computer which is able to handle multiple design tasks and rendering which makes my new work achievable.
When I was about five ~ my uncle Sid (a passionate photography enthusiast) arrived bearing one of his old cameras as a present. I was captivated and enjoyed taking pictures of the small worlds in my garden, my pets and any patterns I could find. This was the launch pad for my careers with and behind the camera and also a love for black and white imagery. My uncle developed his own film and I loved the pictures that magically appeared.
As soon as I could afford a ‘good camera’ I bought my first Nikon and as it served me well I remained faithful to the brand. I now use the D700s as my ‘work horses’. I still have a great love for the miniature worlds that can be found at the end of a macro lens on my D100.
I have always been what my college tutors called a ‘free spirit’ as my butterfly mind hopped from style to style and technique to technique. They were somewhat surprised, therefore, when I settled on the strict teachings of Japanese embroidery for an in-depth study.
I was already immersed in Japanese designs with my great interest in Art Nouveau, inspired by Japan opening its doors to the West in the late 1800s. One day I saw a master stitching flowers onto silk and I was lost to the delicate embroidery that seemed to grow in front of my eyes. I followed a course of 10 phases of traditional Japanese embroidery and then traced the art back to its earliest roots in China. I have since studied with many master craftsmen in both Japan and China.
I now find myself changing direction and following a more contemporary approach but still with the same roots. My passion continues for silk and the breath of life it gives to my work. But I also love the patina of age on both fabrics and thread and use vintage ingredients whenever possible with the tiniest of beads for embellishment.
I enjoy working with metals of all kinds ~ in gold work, gold leaf work and my new ‘Or Melange’. So it seemed only natural for me to take some courses in jewellery making. I work with a Rolling Mill and have a wonderful tool kit, a lot of which I inherited from my Dad.
I like to incorporate semi-precious stones and beads ~ some of which I commission and purchase from some of the finest bead makers in the world.
All images © JuliaDGray 2014