Monday, 3 December 2012
I initially trained as a Clinical Scientist where I worked in several London based Medical Schools and Hospital Research Departments for 20 years. My spare time has always been filled with creative pursuits including painting, dressmaking, knitting, crochet, paper making, silk painting and fabric dyeing, embroidery and beading. I love creating ‘one of a kind’ clothing, accessories and soft furnishings, and particularly love to use recycled materials; giving a new lease of life to old clothing and textiles, transforming them into something new. I also like to use scrap papers, plastics, metals and foils, broken jewellery and beads in my work – all ‘rubbish’ has potential!
In 2000 I started working part time on a self employed sole trader basis (Heatherwell Designs), creating a range of accessories and beaded jewellery which I mainly sold through local exhibitions and craft fairs in Hertfordshire. In 2005 I opened an EBay shop selling jewellery making supplies, beads and creative materials. This enabled me to make a career change and work full time using my creative skills. Running my own business has been a massive learning curve for me, a huge challenge but very fulfilling. Initially my business ran very successfully but due to competition from increasing numbers of outlets selling cheaper imported textiles and beadwork, and the ‘credit crunch’, my sales dropped off and I had to take other employment. Unable to return to my scientific career I trained as a Pharmacy Dispenser and spent four years running a small Pharmacy in a Doctor’s surgery and as a Dispenser in Boots Chemist.
I have now returned to full time self employment, this time aiming for the higher end of the market, and creating unique pieces to commission. In the near future I will be re-opening my EBay shop (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/heatherwelljewelleryandtextiles) selling patterns and kits to encourage others with their own creative pursuits; including counted thread embroidery and cross stitch, picture knitting and machine knitting punch card patterns, beadwork and jewellery making patterns, and digital machine embroidery designs. I love to encourage and assist others to get creative. My scientific background and training necessitated meticulous working practices which I now apply to my creative skills. I work to the highest standard, testing my pieces at every stage, to ensure quality and function. There is nothing worse than spending hard earned cash on a lovely accessory or piece of jewellery only to find it falling apart within the first few weeks!
In May 2012 I registered on a City & Guilds course, Level 3 Certificate in Stitched Textiles with Embroidery, something I have wanted to do a for over 20 years! I am very excited about starting this new venture alongside restarting my business. I have just started my own blog which will be in the form of a creative diary featuring my work and presenting my C&G studies (http://heatherwell-jewellery-and-textiles.blogspot.co.uk). I am also rebuilding my gallery website (www.heatherwell.com) which I hope to have live very soon. Exciting times ahead!