Wind and rain: the two things I have found the hardest to adjust to since moving to the North East of England. The irony of it is not lost on me. Wind and rain are essentially the DNA of waxed canvas. Born at sea, it was designed to withstand one of the harshest environments on earth, as the sails of ships.
I really enjoy the geographical link I have to the things I create, the North East having been the heart of the ship-building industry in England for so long. Being able to watch the North Sea as I work in my studio is something that thrills me everyday.
The wind and rain, though, are still something I have to come to terms with!
Originally from the South East of France, my journey to Whitley Bay has been haphazard. I aimed for Newcatle to train as a fine art conservator, specialising in easel paintings. My father is a conservator himself and I grew up in and around his studio. My earliest memories are of hammering copper nails on his workbench and playing with strips of canvas.
However during my studies and work experience I became increasingly aware of the exposure conservators have to harmful chemicals on a daily basis, which eventually led me away from this profession but opened new and unexpected doors.
I moved to London after a couple of years in the Alps, and I started experimenting with waxed cotton and natural dyes. With hindsight, that leap from conservation to bag-maker seems more like a natural progression rather than completely unexplained.
I have imported a lot of techniques and materials from conservation while all the time striving for sustainability and a chemical free environment. I now only use organic & fairtrade fabrics, natural dyes and wax.
Nature is an important aspect in the creation of my bags. Having grown up in the Southern Alps and now living by the sea, it inspires my designs constantly.