Fabric Portraits

Fabric Portraits


In my current series, I create intricately detailed fabric portraits of people from the past. As I was once the owner of an architectural antique business, old houses and the people who lived in them intrigue me. 

In my method, I create a pattern based on vintage black and white photographs. Then I create realistic fabric portraits by putting all the pieces of fabric together.

I choose vintage photos where something catches my interest. Each of these photos reflects something about the society of the time. This is evident either through the person’s pose or through the details of their clothing.  Thus we get a glimpse into what life was like at that moment in time.

My work breathes new life into grey and forgotten photos of ordinary people. I enjoy the excitement of bringing the person to life through the careful selection of a variety of fabrics. I  use hand-dyed fabrics for the multiple values needed for the skin tones. Each carefully crafted fabric portrait takes at least a month of work in my studio to create.

In a way, my work is similar to archaeology in that I dig into the past to see how people lived and what society was like at that time. I preserve a small moment of the past which encourages people to reflect on past times.

My work honours ordinary people and provides a focus for reminiscences about the past. I combine a love of history, with a curiosity about people from the past, to capture character in fabric.