Grammar school – and two art classrooms. I took up O Level Art later than my other ones. My work was a mix of still life and surreal. I liked this combination. I liked pastels, charcoal, acrylic and poster paint and ink.
My art teachers liked my work. One art teacher gave me materials. He knew we were hard up. I still have the end bits of those pastels and paints. The class was dominated by girls, some boys. The girls were mostly middle class – producing album cover art for bands they liked, mostly prog rock.
I was indie/punk. The others didn’t get my work. The teachers did. I worked from my feelings.
My mother taught me to knit. Everything and anything you could wear – jumpers, cardies, socks, footsies, gloves, hats. We did a lot of it. I wore a lot of hand-knits. I got in to mohair – it worked well with the punk image. I am also allergic to lanolin!
This phase saw a lot of making and a step in to sewing – clothes and soft furnishings. Again I was taught by those around me.
School finished and I decided I wanted to get a job. And off I went to the tax office sandwiched between Salts Mill and Jerome’s Mill. Both mills redundant by then. A working life in textiles wasn’t going to be our future.