Meet the Maker - Suzanne Leather /Teddy Long Legs

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A top selling 'must have' item in the shop this Christmas is proving to be Teddy Long Leg's birdie broach. We caught up with Suzanne the creator....

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
My name is Suzanne and I'm based in the little hamlet of Dulcote just outside Wells. Teddy Long Legs is a really new venture for me so its lovely to have the support of everyone at Paper Scissors Stone at this exciting time.

What do you think makes Paper • Scissors • Stone special?
There is such a fantastic mix of work; you realise just how many talented people there are in the area.

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
I trained as a Fine Art printmaker but after 15 years of teaching art I was really stuck in a rut. Taking up free-motion embroidery has allowed me to rediscover my creativity without putting myself under huge amounts of pressure. I'm now starting to print again and combine the two disciplines which is good fun.

Describe your studio or workspace?
I have a small studio at my house - it used to be my little boy's playroom but he was evicted a few months ago to make way for sewing machines and huge piles of fabric. My studio furniture is begged, borrowed and stolen but the main thing is I now have a dedicated work space. I look out through big windows at the garden and the countryside beyond and this really inspires my work. 

Are you involved in any Christmas Markets, if so what?
I've had stall at Christmas at the Barn in Mells and at the Charity Christmas Fair at the Bishop's Palace in Wells. It's been lovely to meet other makers at the fairs and get feedback on my work from people. It's great when someone walks in wearing one of my brooches!

What is your favourite part of Christmas?
I love putting up the Christmas tree; its great getting out all the decorations and being reminded of the special times when I bought them or the people who gave them to me. I like to get a new decoration every year, this time it's an owl as my 3 year old is obsessed by them!

Which fellow Paper Scissors Stone artist would you collaborate with and why? 
I'm good friends with Laura Pearcey from Boop Design and Just Make (a contemporary craft gallery here in Wells) and I'd love to experiment with printing on ceramic.

If you could choose one Christmas gift for yourself from Paper Scissors Stone, what would it be? 
I did steer my husband in the direction of a beautiful locket with a fox on it and then leave him in the shop on his own so who knows....

Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
We have so many fantastic independent shops here in Wells it's hard to mention just one but if you're down this way get a contemporary craft hit at Just Make, pop into Sew Vintage and Millie Moon to fill up on fabric and then head to Goodfellows for coffee and patisserie to die for.

What are your plans for 2013?
I really want to print again - I love the moment when you pull back the paper and see if its worked. I'm developing new card ranges and I want to start creating my own fabrics to work with. I've also got a 'dragons den' project but if I told you about that I'd have to kill you!

What is your favourite Christmas song?
Fairytale of New York and Last Christmas - eclectic taste!

Finally if you were a Christmas cracker, what inside treat would you be and why?
The joke for so many reasons!

Thank you Suzanne - such a great interview!
You can find a selection of Suzanne's work in our Christmas shop Paper Scissors Stone which is open until 31st December (except for Christmas Day & Boxing Day when we will be asleep!)

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