Graduated in 1990 from Loughborough College of Art and Design. She has designed embroidery for a variety of textile industries, including fashion, bridal and childrenswear (even menswear). During this time, Lara work won best Bridal Embroidery award for 5 years running. Lara has also appeared on tv, showing some of her work.
During the 2000s, as a departure from bridal, Lara changed her focus to fashion embroidery and textile design. A wide range of her designs have been bought and developed by high street names, including Monsoon and Top Shop.
This collection of hand machine-embroidered products shows Lara exploring the things she loves to design and make - soft furnishings that are little works of art - quirky, beautiful and fun. The designs are inspired by all things typically English... afternoon tea poured from patterned teapots, served with cakes on lacy tablecloths... meadow flowers and all that is beautiful in our countryside.
Lorraine is a natural born hands-on creative, who even as a child would spend her pocket money on coloured candles that she could carve into tiny figures.
In 1996, Lorraine decided to enrole herself in evening classes for Woodwork and Silversmithing. Woodwork only lasted one term, but Silversmithing quickly became an obsession and it wasn’t long before she had her own workshop at the bottom of her family garden.
Over the next 5 years she managed to balance looking after her 3 children, with her need to create, and gained qualifications in Silversmithing, Jewellery Design, Jewellery Fabrication and Printmaking.
Since then Lorraine has taken a number of steps to help her become the Jeweller she is today. She has worked as a Technician to help progress her technical skills, gained a level 3 Teaching qualification, taken Master Classes in printmaking, enamelling and stone-setting and set up a full scale Jewellery Workshop at which she also exhibits, and teaches jewellery making.
Lorraine has progressed and grown since her early days of carving figures out of wax. Having developed her own way of working, particularly with colouring aluminium, through years of experimentation, has led to her work being featured in several specialist books. Her jewellery is displayed and sold across the country. She is also a member of the prestigious Sussex Guild, and with them, presents her work directly to the visiting public.
I live in West Sussex, very close to the South Downs and the beach. My
surroundings are a big influence on my work; especially the Downs which I use
aerial views of and explore the changing landscapes through the seasons.
I develop my ideas through drawing, print and paint within my sketchbook
of ideas; using the inspiration from natural objects, the human figure and
corroded surfaces. I love corroded surfaces, the contrast of rough and smooth
lines, patterns and textures that are found on stone, wood, glass and metal
that has been weathered and broken down from natural erosion. I enjoy seeing
and scapes change and evolve from month to month and the effects that farming
has had, leaving patterns by man and nature.
What makes my work unique is that each piece is individual and a real
one off, the pattern, texture and form of each piece is different due to the
way I create them. The work changes each time you look at it or move around it,
there is always something new to see. My work is a combination of contemporary
ideas with traditional making techniques. The work can take many forms which
include vessels, sculptures, pieces of jewellery and wall hangings.
Each piece is hand built using either stoneware or porcelain clay that
has been washed over with oxides and/or coloured slips to highlight the
textures that are already on the surface.
Fleur is one of the UK leading pewtersmiths with over 20 years’ experience; she trained at The Royal College of Art, London and has since established a studio in W. Sussex . She is a member of The Sussex Guild, The Surrey Guild , Contemporary Glass Society and a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Pewterers.
Her designs range from one-off sculptural glass and pewter pieces, to tableware such as cheese knives, serviette rings to desk clocks and vases. Fleur also works to commission and runs short 1 day courses in pewter casting.
Fleurs designs are individual and sculptural in style, movement and fluidity are the main influences for her work each piece is designed to capture these elements. Fleur goes glassblowing once a month to the Smithbrook Glassblowing Studio in Cranleigh where she makes her pieces and is being taught by the expert glass blower Jake Mee. She now combines the pewter and glass in her pieces with great success the two materials complement each other perfectly.