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Gillian Royal


Gillian started trading as a Designer Maker after qualifying with a first class degree which followed many years of textile decoration experience and City & Guilds Certificate and Diploma in Creative Embroidery. She is a Licentiate (with Merit) Member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen. 

Following her graduation from Coventry University, she has participated in numerous exhibitions and crafts fairs and will be exhibiting at ‘MADE10’ in Brighton’s Design and Crafts Fair and ‘British Contemporary Crafts Fair’ at Chiswick Town Hall, London later in 2010.

She has recently been selected as a member of the first cohort in the Crafts Council’s support scheme ‘Hothouse’. This new programme will act to develop, grow and challenge her practice and with the support of the Crafts Council, she will be fully involved in the future of the contemporary crafts sector.
 
Her product ‘Pantoufles’ are unique three dimensional, seamless, sculptural vessels, in a range of styles, colours and sizes. The vessels (some of which resemble ceramics) are made in the UK from 100% highest quality materials. They are smooth, light weight and virtually unbreakable, making them ideal for a contemporary modern interior. The designs, which combine colour, pattern and texture, are often embellished with embroidery and appliqué

The appearance and size of the vessels has evolved as her techniques and skills have developed, each one is totally hand crafted, using the traditional wet rolling technique, from a range of luxury natural fibres, including merino and native breed wools and silks, giving the finished items a tactile quality that is hard to resist. You are invited to touch, to move away from sight alone!

A good example of the development has been the addition of the “Redwing” group. After her success with “Festival” red and green groups of vessels, she was inspired by the various thrushes during last winter’s very cold spell. As the birds displayed their colours she realised with small design alterations a new group of vessels with the bird’s characteristics was taking shape in her sketchbook. The “Redwings” and” Small Bird” series were born! A little artistic licence, but the colours and markings of some of Britain’s favourite garden birds, including migrants, can be recognised.

Her work is influenced by the aesthetic form and colour of natural and organic structures and informed by the haptic or tactile sensory experience. She particularly enjoys the therapeutic process of manipulating the fine natural fibres into quality 3D sculptural forms. The handmade element of the work is extremely important and she values the connection with natural materials which link to her wider interests, the protection and sustainability of the environment, the tradition of felt making and the future of contemporary living.

View Gillian's felt vessels here.
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