Maker in Focus – Liz Valenti

I studied Fashion at the Royal College of Art and was a fashion designer in industry in New York and London for 15 years. In London – principally for Mary Quant.  My work has been in many national fashion magazines and is currently a part of the Mary Quant exhibition at the V&A. I have been an associate member of the Guild for two years.

I became a part time, and later, a full time lecturer in Fashion Design at BA Hons degree level in various art colleges. Middlesex Polytechnic, Ravensbourne, Medway, Cheltenham. I was Course Leader for Foundation Course, Cheltenham – 35 years in total.

I retired and set up what became Sticky Paper Studio and have been working in paper for about 10 years.

My background in fashion, in pattern cutting, construction and textiles has been invaluable and has provided me with an obvious lead into what I do now.  I love paper and its qualities – the crispness and softness – the fragility and the strength and I love making paper into clothes and making a presentation which echoes a shop window display. I like to create and control the look, like theatre. I try to bring an element of thoughtful wit into my work. Having said that, I would love to learn to be spontaneous.

My working day is to be in my studio, working on a piece, listening to radio 3 or something on iPlayer, or looking through a vast number of reference books or my collection of every World of Interiors magazine since it started. Research plays an important part in my approach to my work. I am currently working on commissions and towards the Guild show at Rodmarton Manor in September.

My studio is open by appointment. Lack of space prevents me from offering workshops.

The best thing about my work is the excitement of the idea. The worst thing about my work is when a piece of paper sticks to me and not to where it should!

Inspiration:  Frank Stella (https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/frank-stella-1994) whom I would describe as the ultimate 3D collage artist. His work has developed over his lifetime from extreme control to total liberation.

I enjoy travel, art galleries, exhibitions, museums, architecture, antiques markets, junk shops, the opera. My two daughters! And more recently Instagram has been a revelation.

I have always needed to be creative. I can’t imagine being anything else. My world is visual.