Sunday, 10 June 2012

The Quirky Rachael Howard

Hello everyone!

I have been a great admirer of Rachael Howard's work for many years.  She heavily influenced my stitch work at College and University.  She likes to capture people, observing their postures, funny expressions and activities they are doing in spontaneous sketches.  She then translates this into fabric, using stitch.  Her graphic textile images are quirky and beautifully presented.


I contacted Ms Howard to ask permission to write a post about her and she agreed to a little interview and gave me some images to use :) 

- Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? (This is her Artist profile 2012 that she sent me)

Rachael has been a successful practising textile artist and designer since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1992 as one of the first post graduate students of Embroidery.
Since then, she has become one it's most respected practitioners.  Her graphic, lively sketches  of everyday life typify her powers of observation and knack for catching the moment.  She has pioneered a lively mix of embroidery and screen printing techniques, using image, text and object to tell - often autobiographical - stories of the everyday.

Rachael regularly exhibits her work nationally and internationally.  She is a committee member of the highly regarded 62 Group of Textile Artists; they have an active exhibiting program, with a forthcoming 2013 show in Tokyo, Japan.

Rachael has been involved in many public art commissions from cushion for benches in Newbury Library to a wall-hanging for the Museum of Science and Industry in Berlin.  She has also worked as a freelance designer and illustrator for many companies including Paul Smith, Habitat, Liberty and magazines such as Selvedge.  She has her own collections of ties and interior accessories which she sells at events such as the Crafts Council' Origin Fair.

Rachael has been visiting lecturer at many universities and colleges in the UK and abroad including MMU, Goldsmiths and Central St Martins.  She has received a number of awards for her work and teaching , in 1997 she was shortlisted for the prestigious Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts and won the Artworks Award for Art in Education in 2003 and 2004, whilst artist in residence at Lauriston Primary School in her then home town of Hackney.

Rachael recently relocated to Wirral, after living nearly 20 years in the creative hub of Hackney, East London.  Since arriving, Rachael has lead workshops for The Big Draw and outreach art workshops in the local community.

Starting this Autumn, Rachael will be running Sketching Workshops from her Wirral Studio, if you would like further information please email:

- What made you decide to pursue a career in textiles?

I love sketching and I love fabrics.  I like to use colour in my sketches with all the different fabric colours and patterns and then use machine stitch for details and textures.

-Where do you get your inspiration from?

I like to draw whatever is going on around me, people jogging in the park, dogs, ducks, window cleaners...

-Do you have any new projects/exhibitions coming up?

I have a solo exhibition "Lost and Found" currently showing at the National Trust's Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Cheshire.  On from 30th March - 24th June 2012.

I really love looking at her work it just makes me want to start sewing.  I just want to thank Ms Howard for taking the time to answer my questions and share her work.  All images are copyright of Rachael Howard.  You can find more of her work on her website -

Dittery Dot

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