We came across the phenomenal work of textile artist, Abigail Brown a little while ago when we were exhibiting at the Selvedge Winter Fair back in 2012 and my mum bought one of her beautiful handmade birds, which has since been used in many a photo shoot, you might remember spotting him in our Easter Urban Jungle Bloggers post. Abigail is a textile artist who, as well as a whole host of other animals, hand makes beautiful birds from fabric. Her work is quite simply exquisite, every piece is hand sewn and made from scratch.
Gorgeous, no?! I caught up with Abigail to find out a little more about her:
Q. What’s your background? How long have you been a textile artist?
A. I studied a degree in Surface Decoration and Printed Textiles which finished in 2003 and I started making textile art pieces and plush toys then. I did it alongside various design and illustration jobs until 2008 when I took on a studio space to concentrate on my own work.
My love of fabrics came from my grandma who was a seamstress. My earliest memories are of her sewing machine, threads and fabrics. It’s a very natural medium for me to work in.
Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your design and making process?
A. I do very little preparatory design/drawing work. I like to get straight into making once I have an idea. I gather my ideas and inspiration, make a little sketch perhaps of my idea which I use to create the pattern (if working in fabric) then I just let the fabrics help me form my thoughts.
Q. Do you have any of your creations in your own home? And if so, can we see a picture?!
A. We have a few pieces, I have to gift them to my boyfriend to stop me from allowing people to buy them!! We have a few birds, some circus animals, a fabric totempole piece, a paper fox sculpture and a large white peacock with vintage brooch detail. We have just moved house, but this is a shot of a couple of my birds set up in old our flat:
Q. Have you ever been commissioned to do a piece a little out of the ordinary?
Not really, the only one slightly out of the ordinary was to replicate a customer’s dead pet canary, and to include some of its’ feathers that had been kept. It’s sweet really and nice I could make her something that stood in memory of her beloved little friend.
Q. Finally, where can your work be bought from?
A. I sell directly to my customers through my website www.abigail-brown.co.uk, making each piece to order. But I sell in shops and galleries all over the world. Here in London you can find them in Liberty.
Abigail works from her studio at Cockpit Arts in Holborn, London, and they open twice a year to the public, once in June and then in November. The June open weekend runs from Friday 6th – Sunday 8th. You can find out more information on the Cockpit Arts website.
I would love to know which is your favourite from Abigail’s website? Mine is without doubt this absolute beauty… incredible to think he’s been made entirely by hand, I can’t imagine how long that must have taken. Sadly at £1,530 he is on my dream wish list for now! I firmly believe that Abigail’s work are heirlooms of the future and pieces to be loved and passed down for generations to come.
Image sources: all Abigail Brown
Thank you so much to Abigail for answering our questions and I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing a little more about her.
Sourcebook: Abigail Brown Textile Art by Hollie Brooks
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