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Maker in Focus - Jenny Bicat

Maker in Focus - Jenny Bicat

I have been designing and making textiles since doing a Masters in Fashion/Textiles in 1993. I create individual garments, accessories and décor pieces using non-digital screen printing techniques.

My background is in Fine Art and I use my knowledge of painting when putting colour into cloth. I like to combine the best traditions of twentieth century art with the often sculptural experiments of modern fashion.

I have a workshop in my home near Chipping Norton and have been a member of The Guild for 20 years.

What did you want to be when growing up?

I wanted to be a painter or designer from the age of 16, influenced by a collection of detailed painted studies for stained glass windows and murals in churches executed by my great grandfather who was a contemporary of William Morris.

My first degree in Fine Art was followed by a Postgraduate in Theatrical Design. More recently I completed an MA in Fashion/Textiles.

What does your average working day look like?

A working day might involve drafting ideas for new work, screen printing and sourcing materials.

The best thing is achieving what I set out to do. The biggest difficulty is working with water-based dyes which requires a lot of space. And currently the cost of loom state fabric is a bit of a problem.

Who is your inspiration?

I admire the work of Sonia Delauney for her strong use of colour and geometry.

Are you working on anything especially interesting or different at the moment?

An interesting experience is the ongoing experimental work I am doing with Guild member Bella Peralta. We are making patterned woven pieces by screen printing the warp threads before they are woven up.

Every other week for one day, I share my workspace with another printer, and I may start offering an occasional workshop in screen printing on fabric for 2 or 3 people in the future.

What do you do to take time out?

Time out is mostly spent walking, reading and watching films. Otherwise I am very interested in Geology.

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